What we can learn from Pokémon GO

Boaz Lederer
Jul 21, 2016 · 3 min read
this is what gamers look like

Every couple of years a new game takes over and top the charts, so why am I excited about Pokemon Go? what can we learn from it?

In this piece I’ll share my views on the truths and hype of pokemon GO.

Why not to get excited by the hype?

The game has seen an expotential rate of DAU since its launch, but thats not the first time we have seen that.

Draw something had a similar response and became huge, until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. The game lost interest exactly after the creators sold it to Zynga for $200M, so timing was a key factor there as well.

where do you think Pokemon Go is on the map?

This is another example of why we should consider “Pokemon Go” not just as a Game development lesson but as a digital product.

What it isn’t

Its not new, or technologically innovative.

Similar to facebook being credited as the first social network, which was based mainly on timing and WOM(Word of mouth) hype. Its a refined version of a game that already existed. Niantic created a more complex MMO using location tracking, and the fact that it didn't “go boom” makes the case clearer for the Pokemon brand.

Pokemon means “Nintendo”, it also means players who knew the older game version, and alot of people who can just recognize it. another point is the technology for the game is something that has been avalable for a long time. so this game is a good example of how we accept something as an innovation, although the product just isn’t new.

What it is

It may be the first ever mobile game

It’s truly mobile because its location Based more then it’s a casual game. That’s why it has more in common with Tinder then with Angry birds. It actually forces the user to “go out”. The fact that the users see it as rewarding, means game designers can learn from it about how to demand challenges from your users(as opposed to “casual”). The location basis of the game is also a part of why we see it as a Cultural phenomenon. It’s why it may be a part of a wider evolution of digital interaction.

As we can remember, the biggest challenge for mass hits like this, is retention, so the interesting thing right now is what will the game be like a couple of months from now.

I personally think the AR features are’nt as dominant in the game-play as the location usage, but it’s very clear to anybody who has seen the game that the next step is linked to VR or AR and technology innovations.

As a phenomenon the game did open up a window for people to except the future technologies of AR\VR when these devices will soon be made commercial, and the game acts as an intermediary to that end.

Boaz Lederer

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Product designer @ cloudinary www.dribbble.com/aniboaz www.aniboaz.co.il