If you have been outside since Thursday you have probably seen a hoard of 15-30 year olds walking around staring at their phones. They’re not just extremely interested in a Buzzfeed listicle, they’re most likely playing Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go (which has boosted Nintendo’s stock $9B since Thursday) takes the favorite elements from the beloved card game turned anime turned gameboy game turned movie franchise and let’s players do what they’ve wanted to do for years - catch Pokemon in real life.
In the Pokemon Go World there are three teams competing to “capture” the globe. This is done through taking over “Gym locations” with Pokemon that you catch in the game and level up to be higher than those around you. The higher the Pokemon, the harder it is to beat.
The game uses your built in pedometer on your phone and also GPS coordinates to guide you to Pokemon throughout your city using a hot/cold method. Where Pokemon show up is random, but the game developers have noted that they tend to not be inside of businesses - but maybe in parking lots. You then throw your Pokeballs at the pokemon by swiping up on your phone.
Pokemon Go is built on top of a game developed by Google called Ingress. in 2012 Ingress was launched with “Game selected Portals” throughout the world. As popularity grew, they started letting people submit their own portals at landmarks throughout their city. It is these landmarks that were ported over to Pokemon Go and used as Pokestops. These locations never move and are a constant source of Pokeballs, potions, and peers. Pokestops can also have a “Lure Module” plugged into them. Lure Modules cost $1.00/30 minutes and are available to all surrounding players. They attracted more Pokemon to the area for you to catch - and have also gotten into the news based on some armed muggins that happened as a result.
Around the world, businesses are capitalizing on the game. Some these may have a Pokestop in their parking lot of inside of their business - but others just know the draw that it currently has on a majority of the Millennial market.
You can read more about our predictions for the future of Pokemon Go and the rest of the the Augmented Reality field on our AR blog!