Everyone wants in. Some people want it for the nostalgia – Physically being in the world they revelled as teenagers. Some people want it because it is cool and some are just plain curious. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm and more and more 20 something’s are being pulled to its eye as we speak. Like in a cult, Pokémon Go not only gets you hooked so you never exit the app but also rewires your brain. You suddenly start speaking in Squirtle and Bulbasaur, you have a strong urge to leave your couch to walk outside for hours and you shout Pokémon every time you see a fellow Pokémon player.
While the world is busy catching 250 variations of Pokémon, Nintendo has successfully caught 2 generation’s attention (gen X & Y) which many companies are struggling with today. Nintendo definitely did research on its target audience and gave it a game that is fun, interactive and collaborative (3 major engagement measures) but I believe that these 3 reasons highlight Pokémon Go’s worldwide success and its cult like following.
Major FOMO: While I do not know if it was a planned move or a sheer coincidence, Pokémon Go’s limited launch helped a great deal in it becoming an overnight sensation. We all want what we do not have and social media certainly did not make it easy for everyone without access to the official app. People had a major FOMO and they voiced it through creative photo shopped images and manually drawn snaps. See the images here . While some became creative, others downloaded unofficial download files from different sources to play the game in their countries.
In your face Game play: The game play is so obvious that you cannot help but notice it. The augmented reality and conspicuous phone maneuvers invokes curiosity. Add in an exciting demonstration/ conversation on the world of Pokémon and you have one convinced potential Pokémon player. Furthermore, the community like nature serves as a selection bias of friendly, collaborative and approachable players, making it a strong indirect marketing play. While playing Pokémon go on my way to office today, I caught a group’s attention, and convinced two people to download the app and play Pokémon go with me.
Pedal on the metal: Social media has played a crucial role in the momentum and continuing popularity of the game. Thousands of memes, videos of crowds excited to capture a rare Pokémon and messages from owners unfortunate to have their homes labeled Pokémon gyms constantly fill our newsfeed . Since the app’s launch 3 weeks ago, not one day has passed when I did not see Pokémon on my Facebook wall. With the app’s sporadic launch in different parts of the world, I certainly do not see this craze dying anytime soon.
It doesn’t matter whether one is an avid Pokémon fan, disgruntled audience or just a regular Joe, Pokémon Go has caught ’em all.
On a side note, Pokémon Go has officially launched in Canada.
What are you waiting for, go catch ’em all.