Pokémon GO is much bigger than Nintendo— here’s why
Japanese gaming giant #Nintendo has seen its stock (NTDOY) shoot up 57% in the past five days and its market cap grow by nearly $10 billion, and it’s all because of one thing: #PokémonGO. It’s a big win for a 120-year-old gaming company that has been widely criticized in recent years as irrelevant. But Pokémon GO’s success has major implications beyond Nintendo. If you’ve somehow missed the news of this viral smash hit, Pokémon GO is a new mobile game that uses augmented-reality to project animal characters onto the real world and help you hunt and catch them. The smash-hit #StarWars BB-8 toy, released by Sphero last holiday season, uses similar augmented reality in its app to display hologram messages. Pokémon first debuted in 1996 on the Nintendo Game Boy. In those games, the player, in a quest to become a Pokémon Master, would have to battle pokémon, using already-captured pokémon, in order to catch them. The new game is far simpler: No battles needed, except at training “gyms” where users can battle each other. When you find a pokémon on Pokémon Go, you simply swipe your finger up to toss a pokéball (stay with me here) at the creature and trap it. In other words, it is a far less complex game than past versions, but therein lies the brilliance.