Pokemon Go – The story behind Pokemon Game

Pokemon Go – When it comes a new smartphone game Pokemon Go people are going to remember it forever because in first week of its launch the app received 10 Million+ downloads. Then the Pokemon Go surpassed daily active users also it surpassed Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Instagram in average time the user spends on a particular platform.

It became one of the most sensational and addictive game in the whole world but only few people knows about the actual story behind Pokemon Go game and the man responsible for conceiving this game John Hanke. So in this article we will talk about John Hanke and how he got the idea of creating Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go – The Story Behind

pokemon go
pokemon go

In 1996 when John was still a student he created the very first MMO (Massively multiplayer online game) called as “Meridian 59” later he sold the game to 3DO. John by that time had another passion – “Mapping the entire world.” John launched a company called Keyhole in the year 2000 to come up with a way to link maps with areal photography. From which he wanted to create the very first online GPS linked world map.

His of creating GPS linked online world map became reality when Google bought Keyhole in the 2004 and then that GPS linked world map became “Google Earth”. That’s when John decided to focus on creating GPS based games. But that’s not really happened because from the year 2004-2010 he ran the Google Geo team.

The Google Geo team was responsible for creating Google Maps and Google Street view, during this time period he collected team members that would later be responsible for creating Pokemon Go. In the year 2010, John launched a new startup company which was funded by Google. The objective of this company was to create game layer on Maps. The company was called Niantic, John explains why he calls this company as Niantic :-

The Niantic is the name of a whaling ship that came up during the gold rush and through a variety of circumstances got dragged on shore. This happened with other ships, too. Over the years, San Francisco was basically just built over these ships. You could stand on top of them now, and you wouldn’t know it. So it’s this idea that there’s stuff about the world that’s really cool but even though it’s on the Internet, it’s hard to know when you’re actually there.

Then 2 years later i.e in the year 2012 John then created Niantic’s first geo-based MMO known as “Ingress.” According to John :-

In the case of Ingress the activity is layered on top of the real world and on your phone. The inspiration was that it was something that I always used to daydream about while I was commuting back and forth from home to Google.

I always thought its possible make an awesome game using all the Geo data that we have. I watched phones become more and more powerful and I thought the time would come that you could do a really awesome real-world adventure-based game.

Then in 2014 Google and Pokemon company teamed up to create something interesting on April Fools day as a joke. They created a miniature game which allowed users to catch Pokemon on Google Maps and the idea was certainly a viral hit. John on the other hand thought that this idea could be turned into the real game and that’s how the base for Pokemon Go smartphone game was laid down.

John decided to build Pokemon Go on the user-generated meeting points created by the players of “Ingress.” These meeting points would becomes Pokesteps and Gyms in Pokemon Go game. What John says :-

The Pokéstops are submitted by users, so obviously they’re based on places people go. We had essentially two and a half years of people going to all the places where they thought they should be able to play Ingress, so it’s some pretty remote places. There are portals in Antartica and the North Pole, and most points in between.

Pokemon Go - Pokeball
Pokemon Go – Pokeball

John then later raised $25 Million from Google, Nintendo and Pokemon company and other investors from December 2015 to February 2016 to grow a team of 40+ members to launch Pokemon Go this year. John and his team launched Pokemon Go on 6th July 2016 in USA, Austrailia and New Zeland and the game become an overnight phenomenon as we know it now. The app is generating $2 Million daily in “In-app purchases” and Nintendo’s share $7.5 billion.

Pokemon was the starting point of me and i watched it at that point where i still didn’t know what Anime was and after all these years later its still popular.

Post Author: Kaustubh Shinde

Anime enthusiast interested in reviewing Anime, Manga, Light Novel, Live Action Drama and Movies, TV shows, Movies and Games

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