Pokémon Go has quickly taken the world by storm. After topping U.S. app store charts within mere hours of its launch, the app has quickly become one of the top-grossing apps in U.S. history. This smartphone game brings the digital world to reality by encouraging users to explore their neighborhoods in search of Pokémon or treasure for use within the game. The game’s instant success and huge following has attracted the interest of players across the globe. Here is a look at 6 reasons why Pokemon Go is an overnight success.
1. The game is multi-generational.
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the game is that its audience spans across multiple generations. The original pair of Game Boy Pokémon games were released by Nintendo in February 1996. These early versions of the game allowed players to travel across a fictional version of the Kanto region while attempting to collect various Pokémon.
The game featured 150 different types of creatures that could be caught, trained and battled against fictional villains known as the Elite Four. Although the popularity of the game waned over years, it never completely went away. Many of its original players, now in their late 20s and early 30s, share a sense of nostalgia for the game they once played as children. Younger players, born of the smartphone generation, are drawn to the unique blended reality and social components of the game. Its widespread popularity has drawn the attention of the old and young alike.
2. The release of the game was perfectly timed.
Whether it was intentional or not, the timing of this game could not have been better. The release of Pokémon Go was flawless. The warm summer weather provides the best opportunity to get out of the house and search on foot for Pokémon. With school being out, younger players have lots of free time to spend playing the game. With no homework or school projects left unfinished, parents are likely to have fewer objections to their children playing the game.
3. It creates a unique mobile experience.
In many ways, Pokémon Go is the first of its kind. This enhanced reality game uses a mobile device’s GPS feature to integrate the game into the real world. The unique experience it creates is not something that can be replicated on a video-game console or a computer. The game makes players get up and move as they navigate to real-world places in search of virtual creatures. In order to catch Pokémon, users have to lift their phone and flick the pokeball, making it easy to identify other players around you. The article, Why Is Pokemon Go So Popular?, explains that Pokémon Go has many gameplay elements that have been designed based on human personas, and that’s the main reason why it is appealing to a wide range of people.
4. At its core, the game has not really changed.
Arguably, one of the most interesting things about the game is that it at its core, it has stuck to its original concept. The idea of exploring the world and catching creatures has not changed since its original launch in 1996. GO uses mobile technology to bring a freshness to a game that has maintained a loyal following throughout the years.
5. The game easily lends itself to social sharing.
By using the phone’s camera to search for Pokémon, this game inevitably creates some pretty hilarious moments. Users have taken to social media to share screenshots of Pokémon in strange places like bathroom stalls, doctor’s offices, or even at the white house. Some users have gone as far as to place adorably awkward personal classified ads seeking out fellow Pokémon enthusiasts. By and large, this goal has managed to get and keep people talking.
6. The game encourages peer-education.
Another interesting feature of the game is that it provides a very minimal explanation of the mechanics. Many aspects of the game such as the user interface or the specifics of catching Pokémon are almost completely unexplained in the game. This has encouraged users to socially interact in both the physical and cyber worlds.
There have also been reports of businesses joining in on the Pokémon craze. Many users have taken to social media to post pictures of churches and stores luring visitors with advertisements of Pokestops or rare Pokémon inside.
There are many factors that have contributed to the overnight success of the Pokémon GO application. From its multi-generational appeal to its truly unique user experience, this game has quickly become a cultural phenomenon. While only time can tell if the popularity will wane, 2016 will forever remain the summer of Pokémon Go.