By Nathan Cashman
Pokemon Go is the hottest thing out there right now. We were even talking about it on the golf course this week. I sent this article to my kids asking tongue-in-cheek if it is the end of the world as we know it and got the following response from my 21 year-old son. As we think about building value in our businesses, it would be wise to listen to the next generation. They have knowledge and ideas that our generation just doesnâ€™t get!
Here is Nathan:
I had to laugh when I first saw this. I’ve seen some gameplay of PokÃ©mon Go and I have to say that the game is badly designed and very bare bones even for a mobile game. However, this article does make some good points. I wouldn’t expect the whole lure thing to last very much longer. It’s a dangerous concept that’s already seen a lot of abuse for criminal activity and it has already put Nintendo in a liable position for a huge lawsuit. I’d agree with the other advertising points, but they’ll likely become less profitable over time since Nintendo tends to find out quickly about how people use their games and use that as a way to make money for themselves.
Essentially, I expect Nintendo and Google to start recognizing which businesses can use the “PokÃ©Stop” location to their advantage and start trying to sell these locations to businesses. Currently, these locations are based off GPS-data gathered from a game called Ingress which shares a developer, Niantic Labs, with PokÃ©mon Go. Put simply, this data shows where large traffic areas tend to be, with an occasional low traffic, out-of-place spot. PokÃ©Stops are also influenced by geo-tagged photos on Google. I don’t know how much GPS-location data Google and Nintendo have access to with PokÃ©mon Go now, but depending on how much access they do have and how much people advertise on social media, they could implement some new coding via an update to change the locations and amount of PokÃ©Stops to be less convenient for small businesses.
As for this being a small burst of popularity, I don’t see that as a possibility. As it stands, the game has already gained a huge amount of players, despite subpar design, frequent server errors and limiting gameplay, and appears to be very addicting. In addition, the PokÃ©mon franchise has been going for 20 years maintaining a huge fan-base over 6 generations (about to be 7) of which they’ve barely released the entirety of the first and they’ve already managed to raise their stocks 30+% in a single week. When popularity dies down, they can just easily revive it with a new addition. No, I don’t see this dying down naturally for a long time, the only way this is dying is if they don’t address the multiple crimes surrounding the game and leave themselves liable for a massive lawsuit. The gameplay and frequent server errors could significantly hinder the survivability as well, but altering gameplay by releasing updates isn’t a very difficult thing to do and server errors could simply be due to the large influx of data to servers.
I’ve thought a lot about this stuff recently because my friends have been going on and on about it. Bet you never thought you’d live to see pokÃ©mon become anything more than a useless hobby, eh? I certainly didn’t. There’s even people live streaming this stuff on the streets with amazing success using a three phone set-up. THREE! Supposedly Nintendo has a few more mobile games coming out based on popular franchises, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing. It’ll be interesting to see if those end up being as successful as this.