How to Make a Mobile Gaming App like Pokemon Go

July 21, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Ever since the Pokemon Go release date 2 weeks ago, this augmented reality gaming app has revolutionized the mobile gaming app world. While you can no doubt expect to see many more AR game apps, Pokemon Go has the distinction of being the first big app of its kind.

And boy has it really taken over – it seems Millennials and the ‘iGeneration” (aka Gen Z aka those born after 2004). There’s even a story of a man who caught a pidgey while his wife was giving birth. Hopefully, it was worth sleeping on the couch for the next few weeks (to years).

Sure, gamification tactics (engagement strategies used by app marketers and pioneered by video games) are hugely effective. But these tactics are used all the time. So why is this game app so massively popular?

It’s not even the first augmented reality game app (ARG apps) out there. Heck, the company that made Pokemon Go (Niantic) made another augmented gaming app very similar to Pokemon go – Ingress.

Ingress is similar to Pokemon Go but more heavily oriented to MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming). While Ingress was very popular, especially with gamers, it didn’t become a global phenomenon – especially in 2 weeks!

Pokemon Go has broken some pretty big records in a very small amount of time. Here’s a number: $9 billion in 5 days. That’s not even how much Niantic made – its how much was added to Nintendo’s (the owner of Pokemon franchise) overall valuation!

Within 2 days, Pokemon Go had been installed on almost 6% of all Android devices in the US. To be clear, that’s over 6 million people (6,031,200 million, to be precise) just on Android! That’s more phones than Tinder, and our species survives based on the need to procreate. Just sayin’.

In about 5 days, Pokemon Go almost as many active users as Twitter. TWITTER! Moreover, data shows that users spend twice the amount of time on Pokemon Go as they do on SnapChat (considered one of the best models for engagement).

The demand for this game has been so intense that Niantic had to actually postpone release dates in other countries because their servers could handle the traffic! Possibly the most amazing part of this is that only 11% of the traffic came from the US – the only country where the app was released!

This game is so popular that people all around the world are scrambling for the Pokemon Go APK so they can play without the app! Now, I’m sure all my entrepreneurial friends are salivating at the mouth – how did Niantic do it? More importantly, How can you do it?

The short answer is to contact us, but read on for a brief discussion of some of the more brilliant aspects to this app.

The Brilliance of the Pokemon Go App

There are several factors that have come together to make this AR game app such a success. First, it’s a well-designed game – and I mean design, not necessarily development (though the dev team at Niantic is also quite good).

This app has a UI/UX clearly built along the principles of User Centered Design; or the process of creating an interface from the perspective of the user, as opposed to the developer. This is important to remember – after all, you know your app is great. It’s the users you that you have to convince!

But this app is popular for more than just one that’s well designed from a User’s perspective. Afterall, Ingress followed the same Design method and was arguably a better developed ARG. What else is going on here?

Pokemon Go takes advantage of two major heartstrings marketers love to pluck, one that is newer and representative of the newer age of marketers; the other, though, is a trick as old as marketing itself!

1. The Sharing Economy – you know it, even if you don’t realize it. It’s those persistent little Facebook and Twitter share buttons; it’s the fact that stories seem to bounce back and forth between all your Social Media sites. Pokemon Go shares the augmented reality experience among others. From strangers to friends, all users create a rich environment based solely on this app.

2. Nostalgia – for as long as people have been selling things, salesmen have been using our fond memories to sell more. Nostalgia is a big factor in marketing and a well-known one. In this case, this ARG app is hearkening back to the youths of millennials and even Gen Xers. The Pokemon franchise( TV Series, Gameboy game, Card Game, and more) was a global phenomenon in the 90s and early oughts. This app is bringing back memories of those childhood memories.

Plus, many Millennials now have kids of their own; their love of Pokemon has turned a whole new generation of children onto this popular franchise. A whole subsection of users for this game are adults playing this game with their kids!

This is what the potential of AR and VR represent: a whole new way of interacting with the world. Sure, we’ve discussed AR apps in the past, but this is the first hugely successful application of this new tech. Sounds like something with which you want to be involved? We’ve got you!

All of these tactics are tools we routinely use to build and market every product we make. Our designers only follow the methods outlined in UCD. Meanwhile, our marketers work to create strategies that make sure your app gets the attention it deserves.

Build Your Own Augmented Reality Game App like Pokemon Go

SDI makes apps; Augmented Reality apps, AR apps for Games, standard ole’ Game apps; really apps for anything in any industry. We specialize in creating apps that get downloads and make money.

If you would like to get started on your own gaming app (or any other kind!), give our expert team a call at 408.805.0495 or 408.621.8481 or shoot us an email now!

  • Views18088
  • Views18088

    Recent Blogs

    Let's Discuss

    All information provided by you will be kept 100% confidential.