You might have, but there’s still some nuggets of knowledge to be found in the latest video from Did You Know Gaming. Taking full advantage of the Pokémon GO craze, the series looks at the storied history of not only the game itself, but its developer Niantic. A Google-owned studio that eventually broke free, the skeleton of Pokémon Go has been in Niantic’s DNA for years – and it took one prank to pull it all together.
That happened in 2014, when Google did the classic April Fools thing and revealed a project so obvious that it couldn’t not become a reality. Back then the company teased a plug-in for Google Maps which would populate your surroundings with the first 150 Pokémon, allowing you to literally just walk around and catch them all. It only took two years for Niantic to take that dream and turn it into a reality.
That did that by essentially implementing a lot of what makes the anime so engrossing into a game they had already created. Ingress, which can be thought of as Pokémon Go without Pokémon, laid the foundation for the craze that society finds itself in today. It wasn’t just about the idea of an augmented reality turf war game, but also all the resources that Pokémon Go uses. Ingress urged players to take pictures of monuments they wanted add to the game – many of which ended up being used for Pokémon Go when it launched.
But it was a meeting between Niantic and The Pokémon Company that really sealed the deal, with the President and his wife apparently being huge fans of Ingress even before Niantic approached them. Convincing them, and by extension Nintendo, was then easy – with both companies realising the mass potential of a more social, more widely distributed Pokémon Go.
The results speak for themselves, and so far Pokémon Go has exceeded even Nintendo’s expectations. It’s now up to Niantic to sustain it – which they’re having trouble with this week.
Last Updated: August 1, 2016