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Its Success Has Three Factors

PokemonIn the past week or two we have heard a ton of news about the newest app sensation Pokemon Go.  It’s based off the card game Pokemon, and has people walking around like zombies trying to collect the characters in order to be the most popular.  I don’t really know how it actually works; I’ve never played the card game, video games, and have no desire to try the app.  So why the sudden resurgence in popularity for this game?  It panders to some very basic human emotional needs.

Pokemon is Nostalgic

Pokemon GoIn the late 1990’s the card game surged to popularity.  At the time the Millenials were young and thought it was the greatest thing ever.  It was quickly adapted into video games, movies, and a variety of other novelties.  If you think back to your childhood, you know that some of your best times were spent playing games with friends and there were very few cares in the world.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later, and the brand has all but died out.  It pops up every now and then, but it was never as popular as the original game was.  Until Pokemon Go hit the scene.  Suddenly there is a throwback to a better time.  People remember the original characters, and now they have a chance to “re-live” their childhood.

That nostalgic feeling makes them feel good.  It doesn’t matter if the game is a great game or not, it makes the user feel good and that’s why people love to play it.  But it goes a little deeper than that.


Pokemon Go Gets You Involved

PokemonsterIn today’s world we are getting increasingly disconnected.  And people are noticing that and they are craving that connectivity again.  Humans are social creatures after all.  So we are now seeing things like Facebook quizzes, Facebook Live, and more interactive games starting to surface.

Pokemon Go takes that to another level.  It allows the user to get out and be connected with the rest of the game.  Suddenly when you run into another player you have an instant connection.  While you both may be just staring at your phone, you have a bond.

Because the game allows you to interact, move about, and explore new areas, it has an appeal that most other games don’t have.


Pokemon Go is Easy

Pokemon Pikachu
I caught this one, but I don’t know what to do now.

Since I have never played the game, I can’t attest to how hard it is to actually conquer.  But from what I have seen and read, the game isn’t hard to play and do well at it.  You gather Pokemon characters, and then take them to the gym to train so they can battle other characters.  If an 8 year old can do it, it can’t be that hard.

What makes it so addictive is the ease of use.  You can play for 30 minutes or 30 hours.  You don’t have to have special talent, know move combinations, or be able to solve deep riddles.  You simply walk around and gather the monsters.


The Three Factors Make it a Success

Take a highly nostalgic game that makes the user feel good, combine it with the fact that they’re right there in the game being a part of it (and more importantly feeling like they’re a part of it), and the ease of use and you have an instant success.

Have you played Pokemon Go?  Have I missed the mark?

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