Business Insider has a great interview with John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, the company behind the wildly successful Pokémon Go.
Hanke said that Niantic had three main goals when it was developing Pokémon Go: Exercise, “To see the world with new eyes” and encouraging people to team up and meet up. “The game itself is intended to facilitate the real-life stuff,” Hanke told Business Insider.
Judging by the massive success of the game, and all the many many reports of how and where people are playing it, how they are meeting new people, and how much exercise they are getting walking round looking for Pokémon, Niantic has succeed on every count.
Hanke also spoke about Pokémon Go’s origins, saying that Niantic applied many of the lessons learned from its first exploration game, Ingress, to what would eventually become Pokémon Go.
The direct forerunner to Pokémon Go was a 2014 April Fool’s joke created by The Pokémon Company and Google, who created a viral game that involved finding Pokémon on your mobile Google Maps app, and which proved to be very popular. Hanke said the game was “like chocolate and peanut butter” and it spurred Niantic on to approach Nintendo and the Pokémon Company and pitch to them the game that would eventually become Pokémon Go.
The late Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata also gave his blessing to the project, realising that this could be the game to help Nintendo recover its lost ground in coming late to smartphone gaming. The great man would surely have been delighted that his prediction was right, and that a simple little game called Pokémon Go has succeed in one fell swoop in helping Nintendo not just catch up, but suddenly find itself leading the race.
Source: The CEO behind 'Pokémon Go' explains why it's become such a phenomenon