We couldn’t resist so this week’s video is all about Pokemon GO.
I already knew that Attila was a massive Pokemon fan. His older brother had lost interest in the original version on Gameboy when the save battery stopped working. Big bro handed it down to little Attila and the love affair began, one New Game at a time. So I was obviously shocked to hear that I had played more Pokemon GO than him! Not by much however as I was more curious in the phenomenon than actually hunting down pocket monsters.
Attila’s theory was that since Nintendo wasn’t making very much money on a free app they didn’t develop, the Big N’s strategy was all about offering lite experiences to the mainstream in hopes of luring them over to their specific ecosphere of Mario and co.
This could be the reason why we haven’t seen any classic Nintendo gameplay on a mobile phone yet. While it makes perfect sense to avoid a precise platformer like Mario on a touch-screen controlled platform, a turn-based RPG like Pokemon would do absolutely fine. I’m sure there are millions of phone owners currently playing one of the easily accessible Pokemon ROMs on a Game Boy / GBA / DS emulator. While Nintendo could easily allow a mobile port of even Pokemon Blue/Red and be rolling in the green; they don’t. In this sense, Attila’s theory holds water.
Is Pokemon Go good for gaming?
Almost any gaming phenomenon is great for the industry. A high tide raises all boats and any increase of attention and profit is fantastic for Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo and the rest. There’s probably a significant amount of mobile users who don’t consider themselves gamers but will engage with a game at least once a day. Candy Crush could easily be a gateway drug for the next Bethesda RPG. Just imagine if they started adding story and character to freemium cookie clicker crap? It could be the next big thing.
It’ll be fascinating to see how long this craze can last. If a large enough section of the audience is having fun catching them all and batting at gyms, all that’s needed is to continue adding Pokemon. Adding trading to the mix is another easy way to deepen the experience and especially the social interaction.
I just hope they learn a lesson from another ‘GO’ (Counterstrike) and stay as far away from gambling as possible.