Pokemon is one of Nintendo’s most popular and lucrative franchises. Pokemon’s mascot Pikachu is a global icon that garners a level of recognition reserved for Mickey Mouse, The Golden Arches, and company brother Mario. The logical conclusion is that Nintendo would want to make Pokemon as accessible as possible in order to maximize profits, and that seems to be exactly the goal with the recently announced Pokemon GO app. The app is a mobile phone game where you can capture and battle Pokemon in augmented reality. It seems to be a bare bones iteration of the mega popular Pokemon video game series that is traditionally only on Nintendo consoles. However, regardless of speculation on the app’s streamlined nature, it has been received with astronomical levels of hype from Pokemon fans who can’t wait to have Pikachu and friends with them wherever they go.
With trading cards, video games, toys, television shows, and even a theme park, Pokemon has done it all. Nintendo has let this franchise flourish, and it pays dividends again and again. It is worth noting though that while Pokemon has all these branches Nintendo has always been very careful with its intellectual property. For decades Nintendo IP has been exclusive to Nintendo consoles, and the Pokemon GO app is a move that further signifies a recent change in Nintendo’s business mentality. Just a few months ago Nintendo announced that the company DeNA would be developing a slew of Nintendo available for mobile phones. Pokemon GO is not one of those games, but like the DeNa deal it shows a company that is willing to play nice with others, and reach a larger audience even if it means using someone else’s hardware.
The idea of a Pokemon game on mobile phones brings forth the question, ‘why hasn’t this happened before?’ It’s a match made in heaven, and Nintendo very well be looking at another crowd pleaser that prints money.