Pokémon Go: Is it a game changer?
Pokémon Go is immensely popular everywhere. People all over the world are playing it anywhere they can. Nintendo’s stock has climbed due to the success. The game is easy to pick up and play for anyone. With this much initial success, will this game pave the way for other Nintendo games to come to mobile? Will this change how big gaming companies look at mobile gaming? Is this going to be something that changes gaming forever?
Pokémon Go’s active users have surpassed Tinder, Snapchat, and Twitter. This is becoming a household name. It’s popularity is exploding and everyone is talking about it. I drive around town and I see groups of people at parks, at schools, and at libraries. Gamers are gathering and socializing due to one common interest. I have seen articles in the local paper and facebook groups coordinating meetups to battle and collect Pokemon. One of the best side effects of Pokemon Go is getting people out and about and making them socialize. Players and meeting and making friends much like something found in MMORPG. This is something revolutionary to gaming. No one knew that mobile game was going to take off like this.
I remember when Pokémon first caught my attention, I was mildly interested in the late 1990s when I played Pokémon Blue on Gameboy Pocket and later on an emulator. I tried Pokémon White and HeartGold, but I couldn’t stay interested. If gamers wanted to socialize while playing Pokémon back in the day, they had to lug their 3DS, GBA, DS Lite or Gameboy Color around and hope to run into people playing at the library or school. I occasionally saw people playing Pokemon when I traveled. Most of the time, the people I saw playing were kids or adults at conventions. But Pokémon Go is something else now that gamers can play anywhere. Adults, kids, teens, and people who haven't had any interest in gaming for years are playing. The concept is simple, yet enjoyable and rewarding for anyone to play. Best of all, the game is free. The originals are going up in price due to the success and are around $60 a piece right now.
With the triumph of this game from Niantic, I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo pushes forward with something similar featuring Zelda or Mario. I think this is going to be a wake up call for other gaming developers who may be wary of putting their IPs into mobile games. If Nintendo can be this successful with mobile gaming with one of its beloved franchises, what's to stop other companies such as Microsoft? What about something with Star Wars or a Disney Franchise?
One of the most interesting side effects of Pokémon Go is the location of gyms and Pokestops. Small business are setting up Pokestops for gamers to come by and collect items or capture Pokemon. Gamers are coming in and spending money. At this rate, Pokémon Go is only going to become more popular in the next few months. Maybe soon, gamers will see a version for the Windows Phone. I have a feeling that this game is going to increase in sales for a few items. Battery Banks for smartphones and high end smartphones with large batteries such as the Samsung S7 or a LG G5 which a removable battery. Both of these seem like good choices for extended play hours. Now get out there and catch some Pokemon!