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Monday, July 11, 2016


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sirhc deSantis

As always late to this (erm it works on a phone??) but even I think this is brilliant - and even better the (probably) apocryphal stories of it being bent to nefarious means (something about a 'gym' being placed in a ..nvm). Love the way hooms can twist anything :)
And so what if it is a fad - its what shifts units now anyway.


Spot on. I'm very curious to see what kind of staying power GO has. It's not a very good game -- the user interface is opaque, the mechanics are poorly explained, and the battle sequences are tiresome and have no connection to the Pokemon games people are familiar with -- so will nostalgia alone be enough to keep it going?

Shockwave yareach

People play it because it is fun! Just like people play minecraft because it is fun -- and that's as far from big name as you can get!

You don't have to have a big name to produce a winner... Every big name you mention today was once a nobody. And all the big names of yesterday -- where IS strategic simulations incorporated now? How about Fasa? They were the 900 pound gorillas - now they are notes in history pages.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

I agree — mix a world-class brand from a huge entertainment corporation, and the success is guaranteed, pretty much whatever they launch (it could be an app to 'pokémonize' your face, and it would be a huge success as well).

I'm waiting for Pokémon Go to launch in my country to try it out — I did try Ingress, but it seemed far too much trouble to play, even though the graphics and the plot line are quite cool!… — although, to be honest, pretty much everybody here at the office has jailbroken their phones (or whatever the equivalent trick is) to be able to play it, and it certainly works well.

Imagine my surprise when I saw pretty much everybody standing up, walking around with their smartphones playing elevator music, and coming behind my workplace (I sit against a window, so it's not that easy to squeeze through) with glazed eyes and clearly not even noticing that I was in the way...

Sure, I had vaguely heard about the launch of Pokémon Go, but not the details; and I didn't know you could hack into the phones to play it. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine knew how to hack into Ingress (very easy, apparently any kid can do it) in order to play it without moving from their chair — something that is child's play to do for Pokémon Go as well, at least on an Android phone (allegedly you can do the same on iOS but it requires a tiny bit more expertise).

So maybe because cheating at the game will be child's play, it won't last long? Who knows. The truth is that there are a lot of games around where it's pretty easy to cheat, and they are nevertheless long-lived. And none of them beat the number of Twitter users in a week after launch. So Nintendo & Niantic have got a point there. And possibly a 'killing application' for AR. We'll see. I'm eager to see some success in this area — AR and VR are close cousins, and mainstream adoption of the one will at least raise interest on the other.

What I find nasty about the Nintendo/Niantic launch is that Niantic was financed by Goggle's R&D department to develop the Ingress engine, and now Niantic has used it to split a million dollars/day with Nintendo — and the game is only a week old, and just launched on three countries (I think). Once it becomes a worldwide game, I'm sure that Nintendo/Niantic will easily get each a billion per year — or about what WoW is worth in yearly subscriptions. How much does Google earn from that? Probably next-to-zilch — because if they start grumbling much about using Google Maps, Niantic could easily switch to OpenStreetMap instead, and that would mean no more fees to pay to Google (or anyone else).

So this is certainly interesting and intriguing. Even if the 'fad' is over after summer, I'm pretty sure that the whole development costs will easily have been paid. And in terms of brand awareness and media coverage, they certainly got a LOT of free 'advertising'. Nicely done, Nintendo, you know how to pull this off :)

As for other giant ventures with similar concepts... I can very well imagine that Disney's Marvel division could come up with something pretty similar. Become your own superhero by locally saving people or fulfilling some quests; add a nice plot about people becoming mutants everywhere; or what about a zombie invasion (pitting Humans vs. Zombies, you pick your character), with nice art from Marvel's studios? Disney could pull it off, too.

But sure, Universal Studios with Harry Potter could pretty much do the same. I can certainly imagine a world-wide wizardry contest, with players picking up spells and magic items all over the world, exchanging them with each other, and so forth. It makes sense, has a lot of appeal, and, yes, it's also another universal brand.

So I guess you're right, we're probably going to see a few more competitors to Pokémon Go — but they will always be remembered as 'the first'.

Now, how much time until someone develops an equivalent game for SL?... Heh. AR inside VR. That's definitely cool! Didn't Babbage Linden have something like that, in his Linden days? (I could look it up, but I'm lazy...)

(ooooooh, someone still remembers Fasa.... gosh, I've suddenly noticed I'm middle-aged!)


"What I find nasty about the Nintendo/Niantic launch is that Niantic was financed by Goggle's R&D department to develop the Ingress engine, and now Niantic has used it to split a million dollars/day with Nintendo"

Pokemon Go started development in 2013. Google spun off Niantic until late 2015. They knew what was going on and are still likely to make a ton of money thanks to the 30% in-app purchase cut on Android plus the large investment they made in Niantic (in concert with Nintendo and The Pokemon Company) a few months after the spinoff.


*spun off in - wish I could edit that!

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