It doesn’t matter if you’ve not downloaded Niantic Lab’s Pokémon Go, you must have heard of it. Such is the near ubiquitous nature of the game. There have been millions of downloads, thousands of headlines, thousands of memes and hundreds of brands scrambling to align and partner with the brand. What are the ingredients that have pushed Pokémon Go to a viral and financial success?

pokemon go on phone

Mobile Technology

The first main ingredient for Pokémon Go’s success was launching the game on mobile. At a time when the number of smartphone owners continues to soar around the globe, this was a smart move.

Smartphone technologies of years past were already good enough to allow high level mobile gaming. From first person shooters to mobile casinos, there was no limit. Some of the best mobile casinos, including those on, had super realistic casino games that only endeared users further to their smartphones.

Improvements in technology brought us mobile apps as well as augmented and virtual reality. Pokémon Go tapped into these by using computer generated sensory input to display on a smartphone, virtual Pokémon in physical, real-world environments. This gave users a fascinating experience.

Nostalgic appeal

Pokémon first launched 20 years ago and in that time, they have amassed millions of fans. The game launching this year therefore resonated with older millennials who enjoyed Pokémon gaming on their Game Boy as well as younger people who have only lived in a world of smartphones, internet and mobile apps. The two demographics made for more success than you would expect from a typical modern day game.

A blend of physical and digital

Location-based technologies are becoming more mainstream so the relationship between the physical and digital world will only grow. Pokémon Go, however, has been able to blend the physical and digital on a wider scale. First, they released the game during the nicest days of summer. Secondly, they got many business owners to tap into the phenomenon by inviting players into their establishment. Customers are offered discounts for Pokémon caught whilst being encouraged to play more.

All embracing mechanics and design

The external forces discussed already are not the only reasons for the success of Pokémon Go. The design and mechanics are also key contributors. Pokémon Go as a game prioritises time above skill or ability. This means a 40-year old player than hasn’t been a regular smartphone gamer has the same chances of success as a 20-year old gaming wizard. The game features a balanced environment where users can work together and help one another to succeed.

Modern day video games have a competitive edge which can discourage casual players and force them to quit a game minutes after downloading and starting. However, Pokémon Go does not have this problem because you don’t need any special skills to capture a Pokémon and you don’t have to be the first player out of the gate. This has turned the game into a welcoming one for both newbies and veterans.

Pokémon Go’s success therefore can be attributed to a perfect blend of various factors that encourages collaboration and exploration instead of competition and strong emphasis on gaming skills.