Pokemon Go: how did it start?

Pokemon Go isn’t alien to anyone as the game caught on like wildfire since its inception. It is a free app devised by Niantic for Android and iOS users and is location based. It was launched July, 2016 and the growth rate is supposedly faster than that of Twitter and Tinder. All one needs to be able to play the game is GPS location and internet connection as it allows to you to catch, battle and train Pokemons in real time.

About the founder

The popular game was created by John Hanke who is currently 49 years old and claims to be surprised by the popularity and the reach of the game. After graduating from University of Texas, Austin in 1989, he went on to get a MBA from Berkeley in 1996. Hanke has spent the last score of his life developing location based and interactive games but he was taken aback by the popularity this game fetched.

Hanke co-founded Keyhole, a company creating geospatial visualization software which was bought by Google but he managed to recover it and Google still remains as one of the founders.

The birth of Pokemon Go

The word Niantic comes from the Gold rush era ship which now lies under San Francisco and was supposed to ferry tea and silk from China. However, later it was converted into a mere sperm whaler. The last voyage by this ship brought seekers back to San Francisco and was run underground where it still lies.

This story was the main inspiration behind the creation of the world famous game as one can discover hidden treasures in the neighbourhood. The simple logic was that one believes that they know everything about the neighbourhood but once you are out to explore, you will realise how unfamiliar you are about the occurrences in the surroundings.

To understand the growth and spread of the game better, refer to the infographic below:

How Pokemon Go Started

Why did the game become so popular?

The popularity of this game can be accredited to the fact that it managed to immerse the player completely in a unique parallel universe where Pokemons are a reality. Pokemon has been a favourite cartoon show while growing up which brings back a rush of nostalgia which is a huge contributory factor to the spread of this game. Other factors which are responsible for its popularity are the simple mechanism one needs to employ in order to understand and play this game coupled with fantasy meets reality element.

Hanke’s company’s valuation is currently over $3 billion.



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Author: OOS Team

Explaining bits and bytes of startups and entrepreneurship.

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