First released in 1996 for Nintendo’s Gameboy system, Pokemon sprung from its creator’s childhood obsession with catching insects, and quickly evolved into manga, anime, trading cards, and every type of merchandise imaginable. Since its initial release, it has grown exponentially around the globe, becoming a case study in how to keep an electronic game relevant - and profitable (to the extreme).
Twenty years and countless versions later, the latest incarnation of this game of this critter catching and battling game makes the leap from the Gameboy/Nintendo DS realm into the brave new world of iOS and Android mobile gaming.
It’s also landed those critters, for the first time, squarely in the real world of your home, backyard, neighborhood, or coffee shop.
Pokemon Go Has landed - with the force of an angry Snorlax.
By the Numbers
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at some numbers:
1. In its first day of release, July 6, 2016, Pokemon Go made between $4 million and $5 million.
2. Nintendo’s market value had increased by $9 billion 5 days after launch.
3. It took just 13 hours to become the highest grossing app in the US charts.
4. Thirteen days later, it had generated an estimated $35 million in revenue.
5. Nineteen days after its release, it reached over $50 million downloads.
In the iOS App Store alone, it was generating an estimated $1.6 million in revenue daily during its first week of release. The average user spends 43 minutes daily in app.
And that’s just a small slice of the statistical pie. Bars, coffee shops, and restaurants around the world have reported significant increases in revenue after noticing that they had become popular hunting grounds and began catering to the gamers with Pokemon-themed drinks and entrees.
Any way you measure it, Pokemon Go is the definition of a phenomenon.
Building the Beast
Of course, Pokemon Go came into the game with 20 years’ worth of momentum behind it, but that’s no guarantee of success in the notoriously fickle mobile gaming world where apps explode one day and disappear a week later to become, at best, the answer to an obscure trivia question.
So, what did Nintendo, Niantic, and Google do right? They took their time.
The original concept for the game was developed in 2014 as a collaboration between the Pokemon Company and Google for April Fool’s Day. Tsunekazu Ishihara of The Pokémon Company saw the potential, however, and development soon began in earnest on an actual app. The first beta test didn’t begin until March, 2016 in Japan before expanding to New Zealand and Australia, and finally to the United States.
In short, they didn’t just rush it onto the market with dollar signs in their eyes. Would they have still made money, had they done so? Probably. But they wouldn’t have become a global phenomenon. They made it social.
Historically, one of the biggest draws of Pokemon has been the ability to hunt, collaborate, and battle with and against real people. Whether playing with Pokemon cards or via the Player Search System on Nintendo DS and 3DS, Pokemon is a game best played in pairs, or even groups, and Pokemon Go remembered that – but they went one step further: They made it active.
The real game-changing aspect of Pokemon Go is that it’s an augmented- or trans-reality. Using your phone’s camera and GPS, it gets you up out of your recliner, into the great outdoors, where the Pokemon appear on your screen as if they’re actually in front of you.
And when you play with other people, they’re actually there, with you, walking around. In fact, many have praised the game for promoting actual physical activity while playing. We won’t dwell on the two men who fell off a cliff in search of their prey (they survived!).
While Pokemon Go has 20 years of history on its side, Mowjow builds on the human love of trivia quizzes, which has flourished for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years.
While Pokemon Go maintains a social gaming aspect, Mowjow also allows you to invite and challenge friends and family to trivia tournaments that can not only test your knowledge, but win you prizes – great prizes; like island vacations, new cars, even $1 million.
While Pokemon Go gets you up and moving, Mowjow helps you build your general knowledge and stretch your intellect, not only through its quizzes, but through its articles that help you learn even more about the topics you’ve been quizzed about. That Pikachu you caught may be powerful, but we all know that knowledge is the REAL power.
Mowjow is the next trivia gaming sensation. Featuring stunning photography and rapid-fire questions, it’s been tried and tested. More than 500,000 games have been played in the final testing round by our 5,000 beta players, and it’s ready to hit your phone soon.
Prepare your brain cells. If you feed them well, the rewards could be life-changing.
This article originally appeared on July 30, 2016.