Niantic CEO John Hanke recently at Wall Street Journal event said that “Pokémon GO has the potential to be a 20-year franchise,”. Does that sound crazy?
Let’s see what 20 years in the Mobile industry and specifically in mobile games market means. Mobile games market, itself is not 20 years old at this point (except games like Tetris on Nokia), and even Pokemon as a franchise is barely over 20 years old itself, debuting in 1996.
Yes, Pokemon Go has broken nearly all mobile game records and had a huge player-base in the first launch year. But 20 years is a long time in this fast-changing mobile world.
Generation 3 will soon be coming to Pokemon Go, and Pokemon Go is only 15 months old at this point. It took 6 years for Gen 3 to be released in the handheld version of the Game.
Going by this, it would take 3 years for Generation 7 to make its way into the game, and then what for the rest 17 years?
Releasing new Pokemon into the game every eight months to keep the player base motivated and engaged is fine from now, but without some major changes to the gameplay, it will be difficult to keep the players motivated.
At this point Pokemon Go lack core goals and activities and a point to look forward. In 15 months, there have been a few major updates to the core game. Rework of gyms and Raids are the biggest updates till now. But Gym Rework had mixed reaction, and raids, which initially felt rewarding, now does have taken too much away from the rest of the game.
Hanke talks about furthering the AR capabilities of Pokémon GO, at present, it is not even a minor part of the gameplay, as only a few use AR.
Although Apple is launching its ARKit, which can be used to improve on this functionality, and Hanke is looking even further ahead to AR/mixed reality glasses/headsets like what’s supposed to be coming from Magic Leap. All this technology can take Pokemon Go to a next level and help in its longer survival.
So will Pokemon Go survive 20 years, only time will tell. What’s your view on this? do leave a comment.