Monday, August 15, 2016

Formula for Success?

Building off things that already exist, and that people already do or want to do--is that a formula for success?

Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, NC, has 4 Pokestops and
is also a great place to watch the sunset.
Pokemon Go builds off going out and walking around, going to popular places, even going to restaurants and places people like to hang out. All things people do already. Most of the gamers I know, in fact, also enjoy things like hiking and eating good food and hanging out with friends in nice areas.

Some of the largest collections of Pokestops I've seen (admittedly I've only been playing a couple of weeks) have been in places like malls and parks and designated loitering areas. There's even a Yelp feature to find restaurants near Pokestops. So it's no effort at all to play the game, since these are things we're already doing anyway. It just adds an extra motivation to keep going on that last, tired mile. Or something else to talk about as you play boardgames on a warm summer night outside the coffee shop.

It makes me wonder if that's part of what has made the game so successful. It builds off nostalgia, yes, but it also incorporates an excuse to do things people already want to do.

Of course the game wasn't the first one to do that. Ingress was hugely popular for the same reasons, and yet it wasn't anywhere near as well known. So nostalgia and possibly other things, like levels of interactivity and the amount of dedication needed, may play a part of it.

Do you see more phone games following this path? What do you think is the main component of Pokemon Go's success?

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