Since the successful launch of Pokémon Go, Nintendo has seen a large surge in its market, valuing $17 billion dollars in just over a week. The phenomenal rage of the game has absolutely exploded within the general public and continues to grow each and every day. As much as we can attribute the popularity based on the overall interaction of the game itself, Pokémon Go has utilized its early 90’s childhood nostalgia to propel the game above and beyond what Nintendo executives could have predicted.
So what makes Pokémon Go such an appealing game? How has it been able to amass a large amount of popularity after being displaced for years on end? In my personal opinion, the unbelievable success taps the nostalgic roots of millions of millennials and young professionals today. In the anime cartoon series, we are introduced to Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the story, who travels through cities, forests, oceans, and caves with the overarching intended goal to be a Pokémon master. While the vintage card games sparked an incredibly lucrative trend in the late 90s and early 2000s, the franchise itself had seemed to die down as other shows and other products took the interest of its fans. In addition, with new waves of technology and competition, Nintendo, as a company, saw a steady decline. But with their strategic marketing, the franchise was able to birth from the ashes and provide those childhood memories we all missed and loved.
With the game, Pokémon Go provides their users with a sense of adventure. Similar to Ash Ketchum, you are given the infamous option of choosing between the three favorites: Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle. Now, the caveated about the entire game is that it is completely interactive. Utilizing a strategic GPS system, users are able to walk around their surroundings, wherever they may be, and engage and interact with other Pokémon. That idea and dream of ‘Gotta catch them all,’ continues to mesmerize millions of users as they walk miles on end in the search for that rare or beloved Pokémon. In addition, the app provides various vantage points where you can either gain new resources or battle against other individuals and gym masters.
Now as much as we can give credit to Nintendo for their revamp of the series, all of this would not have been possible if it weren’t for the advancement of technology, primarily the advancement and usage of smartphones. In today’s world, adults, teenagers, and even kids have access to smartphones. With games like Candy Crush having capitalized on this trend, Nintendo was able to maximize the mobile strategy in providing every customer with a true Pokémon gaming experience.
While I wait to see what Nintendo has to offer for the other favorite characters such as Super Mario and Zelda, all I know is that if it is anything like Pokémon Go, we are definitely in for a treat.