Last year, Niantic developed and published Pokémon Go – a mobile game that would sent a global frenzy among mobile gadget users. Please note of the usage of the term mobile gadgets – as one very important aspect many people should know is that the game was made to be compatible or available to different platforms (such as tablets, android devices, and IOS or Apple) but not for computers .
Some say that it can be installed on a desktop computer or laptop by using certain tricks – however, I would advise against it. As mentioned, the game is originally designed for mobile devices so obviously, installing it on a PC or laptop (or any other devices aside its targeted products) is an apparent violation.
"How I got hooked on Pokémon Go"
Truth be told, when the game was first launched, I did not download it – in fact, I also prohibited my seven year old son from downloading Pokémon Go on his mobile phone. When the game came out, I am already aware that this particular global phenomenal craze has already been reported or criticized for being dangerous to some individuals.
For instance, a few players have been caught trespassing while playing. So initially, I thought that it wouldn't just be safe for my young son to play Pokémon Go without proper supervision (who knows, he might leave the house when no one is looking just to capture some Pokémon. But of course, I don't like my kid to be left out, so I did told him that we will play together come Christmas vacation.
Anyways, here comes Christmas time. I know one thing for certain, my kid being the intelligent and wise cracking little man that he is, will be bugging me about finally playing Pokémon Go. So yeah, I eventually allowed him to play (a promise is a promise after all). Playing the game is something that he did for many days during his Christmas break after returning from vacation from his grandparents.
However, now that holiday break is over, he pleaded me to be the one to continue playing while he's at school. I told him that it is not possible since I have work. But like I said, he is intelligent and he informed me that I can squeeze in some play time during break time, coffee breaks, and while walking to and from the parking area.
Not wanting to disappoint him, I agreed on condition that he should behave, listen, and do good at school. He accepted my conditions but he has added some of his – and that is I should capture as many Pokémon as I can.
The deal is on, and in less than a month, his character is now on level 21, has captured many of the rare (even the super rare) ones, and even achieved the final evolution of many of the Pokémons.
The Purpose of this Post
I am writing this blog to inform readers about the evolution of the Pokémon Media Franchise. How a game that was intended for the Game Boy became a global blockbuster hit for millions of people. In this blog, one will read some interesting things that he or she would be amazed to know – well, that's already a given since there are many things about the Pokémon universe aside Pokémon Go.
So sit back, relax, and have a great time reading this blog (you might even bookmark this Pokémon blog because it is so awesome)
"Niantic – The game developer"
The first thing you need to know about Pokémon Go is that it is developed by Niantic. Just by the name itself, one can surmise that this US based software developer company is a firm coming from San Francisco – as the name Niantic is quite analogous to the area.
For the benefit of readers who are not aware, Niantic is also the name of the whaling ship that brought about thousands of people to San Francisco during the so-called Gold Rush Period of California (from 1848 to 1855).
Going back to Niantic, before the company evolved to where it is now, the firm originally started as a start up within the mega tech giant Google. It was founded last 2010 by John Hanke – the former head of Google's GEO division.
"John Hanke – founder and CEO of Niantic"
Currently, John Hanke is still CEO of Niantic and under his leadership, the company delivered some impressive names to the mobile games market. Some of the famous augmented reality based games Niantic launched was Pokemon Go and Ingress.
Although Niantic is credited as the one who developed the global sensation Pokemon Go, it is important to know that it is not the company behind the massive multi-billion dollar Pokémon franchise.
"Nintendo and its Consortium"
Many people probably did not know this, but the Pokémon franchise is shared by three big name companies – Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freak. The three companies formed a consortium (The Pokemon Company) that will manage the already large media franchise of the brand name. One must also note that even though the copyright is shared by the three companies, the Pokemon trademark is exclusively and only owned by Nintendo.
By the way, for anyone wondering what a consortium is, below is the term's official definition according to Merriam Webster Dictionary
Consortium - an agreement, combination, or group (as of companies) formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member
Moving on, one may ask, why Nintendo? The answer is actually quite simple – Pokémon was created by Satoshi Tajiri as a pair of video games for Nintendo's original Game Boy. Fyi please that Game Boy is the popular handheld console that dominated the portable gaming devices market before the arrival of PSP (Playstation Portable).
As a pair of video game? I know right. That tidbit may come as a surprise to some as the original pokemon garnered worldwide attention due to the trading card game and television series.
That being said, the Pokemon franchise has come a long way from being just a handheld game and trading cards. The franchise now includes toys, comics, 30-minute specials shows, and plenty more.
Here's the man – Satoshi Tajiri
Of course, it is only natural to also explore Satoshi Tajiri – after all, he did created Pokémon. Apart from being the creator of Pokémon, listed below are some of Mr Tajiri's accomplishments and interesting trivias:
• Founded Game Freak (another Japan-based game developer) last 1989
• Has Ken Sugimori as friend and mentor (Sugimori is widely recognized as the one who designed many characters of the Pokémon franchise. He is also the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, and other hit game franchise)
• Inspired to create Pokémon from his childhood hobby of insect collecting
• Has autism. Autism is a mental condition that has different effects on different people. In Tajiri’s case, his obsessive characteristic paved the way for the creation of the billion dollar franchise
Twenty Year Anniversary
Another thing worth knowing is that the Pokémon games have celebrated its 20th anniversary last year (2016) since its release. So in a certain way, Pokémon Go is like a tribute of sort to celebrate that particular milestone.
It is just amazing how Tajiri's (the one who conceptualized and created Pokémon 20 years ago) idea of basing the game from his favorite childhood pastime of insect collecting could span to a global billion dollar franchise enjoyed by millions of people across different age group. Some even say that the Pokémon franchise is just behind the Super Mario franchise for best selling video game ever.
That being said, let me end this blog with the videos below. The first is an early rendition of the game while the latter is how the gameplay and effects are nowadays. This comparison will give a better appreciation on just how far the game and its mechanics have evolved through the years.
"Pokemon on its early years"
(Video Credit: World of Longplays via YouTube)
"Modern Game Pokémon Go"
(Video Credit: MYSTIC7 via YouTube)