Some people just don’t understand how adults and children alike have adopted the new mobile app Pokemon Go so quickly and completely. Maybe they never played the popular gameboy game as a kid or they simply think Pokemon is a waste of time, but there is no denying that Pokemon Go is a major success for Nintendo and mobile apps everywhere. What drives this success? It’s simply a combination of nostalgia and modern day technology.
The Nostalgia Factor
90s kids fondly remember playing Blue, Red, and/or Yellow when they first came out for the Gameboy Color back in the mid-nineties. Some collected the trading cards, and others watched the tv shows and subsequent movies. The hardcore fans, or those who could convince their parents to supply their PokeHabit, did all three. However, as the main demographic of players and trainers got older, Pokemon began to change, evolving with each new generation that started to play until today when the latest generation of Pokemon looks extremely different from the original game.
When it first came out, it was a completely new, creative, and fun way to look at the world. 10 year olds aspired to be like Ash and leave home to travel The world in a quest to be the Very best (that no one ever was). This was before virtual Or augmented reality. Pokemon was so innovative at the time that it made the impossible seem like it was in reach. Pokemon Go is a return to that first generation over 20 years ago that captured so many players in their youth.
The Modern Technology Factor
While a huge part of its success is due to the recapture of the “lost” original generation of players by returning to the original 150, Pokemon Go wouldn’t be nearly as successful without its modern feel. By utilizing augmented reality and updating the look/feel of the original Pokemon, The Pokemon Company has successfully captured the attention and adoration of younger players as well. The generations of players who came after the original release are more used to super realistic graphics and being able to more directly interact with their Pokemon through contests, dressing them up, and feeding for traits, which was introduced in later generations. Pokemon Go implements this “hands on” approach with its choice of a mobile app versus a physical game cartridge as well as the requirement of physical movement for hatching eggs.
Bringing the original Pokemon into the modern era of technology has brought great success for Nintendo and completely turned the mobile app world on its ear. But why wasn’t Nintendo and Niantic prepared for the overwhelming number of players and early adopters? Find out in the next article, “Pokemon Go’s Success Part 2: Why Weren’t They Prepared?”.