Industry Insider Roundtable: Pokemon Go?One-Hit Wonder or Mobile Megastar?
Insights & Best Practices
July 26, 2016
Pokemon Go's launch has been nothing short of memorable. No. 1 on the U.S. App Store grossing charts, reported to be making millions daily on iOS alone and server overloads because of unprecedented demand.From stories of trainers joining forces to find rare creatures, to tales of savvy businesses offering discounts and deals to players and their Pokepals, there hasn't been a day since its debut that the augmented reality (AR) title?which asks players to roam the streets to catch Pokemon?hasn't made headlines. The game has so quickly become embedded in our social consciousness that it's hard to believe it only launched this month.But, does Pokemon Go have the staying power to become a long-term mobile hit, or will it prove to be just another passing fad? We gathered industry experts to discuss.
Tomas Rawlings?Design & Production Director, Auroch Digital
Pokemon Go is a cultural phenomenon. The challenge now is to turn the novelty of AR and the love for the game into a long-term title that generates revenue and interest. Unlike Nintendo's Miitomo, Pokemon has an existing fan base?many of whom have been following it for most of their lives.This gives a deep well of commitment that its developers can tap into. If Niantic (the studio behind the game) and Nintendo can iterate from here rapidly, using data to respond to players and also the location data to shape a varied experience, they can keep this running and running.
Dan Walters?Co-creator, Calvino Noir
I have to respect Nintendo for their deep understanding of their audience, for staying true to themselves and for making it happen time and time again.While times have been tough for Nintendo, it would have been so easy for them to start to flap around in panic, re-strategize, perhaps launch a Candy Crush competitor, or some other proven product type, after their failed innovating with the Wii U. But they have kept their focus on innovating, and are now retaking their lead in game product innovation.Yes, Pokemon Go isn't entirely original in mechanic, but what fascinates me is that Niantic and Nintendo are finding success where huge success hasn't been achieved before: augmented reality. But my opinion is, Pokemon Go relies entirely on its IP. The novelty factor of the game is obvious, and it is going to wear off within weeks, maybe a month or two.
Steve Stopps?Co-founder, Team Lumo
The metagame feels superficial and the proliferation of collection points means that the novelty will wear thin quickly. I expect this experience to be a short-lived fad for most, much like Draw Something.The huge player base will lead to significant short-term revenue. I don't necessarily believe that games need to hold a top grossing position for months to be commercially successful.There are wider lessons that are very important for the industry. For years, I have been telling people who want to make ?serious" games that the game must come first. Go is not an exercise game, but it has lead to a significant rise in physical activity. It is also interesting seeing how some organizations have embraced the increase in footfall as new patrons are doing the Pokemon shuffle. For now, I am enjoying being part of an industry that can have such a profound effect on human behavior.