The Pokemon franchise in its video game format has existed for a long time on previous Nintendo consoles. The concept of the game is simple: capture monsters, train them and fight battles in gyms.
How Is Pokemon Go Different?
Pokemon Go does not divert from this concept at all. The innovation is in the technology. This is the first time Pokemon has become available on mobile devices instead of a Nintendo games console. Pokemon Go uses Augmented Reality technology to superimpose Pokemon onto the real world which appears on the player’s mobile phone. In doing this, Pokemon Go makes for a significantly more active game as players are required to go outside in search for new Pokemon.
Pokemon Go is free to play. However, there are some in-app purchases available to attain some items more easily that one would for free. Overall the response to Pokemon Go has been outstanding, and it has achieved record-breaking success globally.
The introduction of Pokemon into the mobile gaming world has revived the classic game. Its success is likely to rejuvenate interest in other classic video games as investors will be looking to replicate Pokemon’s success, which can be attributed to three major factors: its simplicity, its social aspect and nostalgia.
Pokemon benefits from being a particularly simple game. Previous versions utilised turn-based battles, and the main objective has been consistent and straightforward throughout all the versions: catch them all. There is no requirement for complicated controls which would be needed for other franchises such as Street Fighter or Tekken, where complex combos determine how successful a player is in the game. This simplicity makes the transition from Nintendo consoles particularly easy and makes the game widely accessible to the casual gamer.
The Social Aspect
There are some social aspects to Pokemon Go. Although the game is largely a single player game, players have to visit the same spots in order to enjoy the game, leading to players running into other players, hence creating a sense of community. This has been a large draw for some people to the game. Notably, though, Pokemon Go lacks friend vs. friend battling or trading of Pokemon which somewhat limits this element of the gameplay.
All classic games benefit from an element of nostalgia. Whereas newer players of the Pokemon franchise may enjoy Pokemon Go for gameplay and its popularity, older generations who are more familiar with the game will often derive their enjoyment by reliving memories as well. This allows for a game with a wide range of appeal.
Game developers looking to replicate the success of Pokemon Go will probably find it difficult. Pokemon Go is a uniquely simple game in which players of the game can easily perform the role of the main character in the franchise. The simplicity makes it easy for Pokemon to transition into Pokemon Go on mobile and maintain a lot of the nostalgic elements from the previous games. A stronger multiplayer version in which players have greater interaction with each other within the game would make up for the simplicity of the game.
Pokemon Go’s success will be hard to replicate, but it is by no means a perfect game. Other games may need to reinvent themselves, but in doing this, they may lose some of the nostalgia and thus lose some appeal to older generations. Game developers should focus on developing the social aspect of their mobile game, the aspect in which Pokemon lacks in. By doing this, future mobile games could potentially make up for other deficiencies. Pokemon’s social aspect has largely been led by the popularity and hype of the game rather than the social gameplay. Other games should focus on developing stronger multiplayer aspects to their mobile game.
Mario and Zelda, both Nintendo franchises, are both examples of games which could possibly make large waves in the mobile gaming industry. They are both huge franchises that have had huge success in the past, comparable to that of Pokemon. Also, they are both adventure type games and thus could easily emulate the active aspect of Pokemon Go.