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Nintendo & The Pokemon Company To Capitalise On Mobile Users With New Releases

Nintendo & The Pokemon Company To Capitalise On Mobile Users With New Releases

Nintendo brought one of their biggest and most recognisable franchises to mobile in 2016 with Pokemon Go. Now, they seem to be capitalising on the growth and branching out to a new market altogether.

The Japanese videogame giant held a conference yesterday where they addressed new additions to the Pokemon franchise, along with various other products and services such as Pokemon Home, Pokemon Sleep, and Pokemon Masters.

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However, this press conference bodes other things for the Pokemon Company; a new direction to bring the franchise to everyone.

History

Nintendo created the first Pokemon game in 1996 known as Pokemon Red. This started off a global sensation, spawning an anime, manga, spinoff games and endless merchandise along with a recognisable mascot.

Today, with 7 generations of Pokemon games under their belt, Nintendo has a positive money-making franchise. The newest games in the franchise are also set to be released on June 5th in a Nintendo Direct.

Nintendo wanted to bring Pokemon to mobile in an AR format, leading to the rise of Pokemon Go. The overnight smash hit garnered over 500 million downloads within the first month of its launch and quickly became a pop culture sensation.

The free-to-play model of Pokemon Go fueled its meteoric growth, with Nintendo being taken aback by its success. While the app faced a lot of technical issues in the first 6 months after its launch, the game eventually stabilised and was supported by Nintendo heavily.

The financial and cultural success of Pokemon Go gave Nintendo the taste of true popularity. Until then, Pokemon games were only available on Nintendo handhelds and consoles, and were almost must-buys every time. The move towards mobile gave Nintendo a taste of the true market out in the world; a strategy realised with yesterday’s conference.

The New Exhibits

The conference saw Nintendo double down on their mobile-first strategy for greater monetisation of the Pokemon brand. The primary difference was the differentiation of the Pokemon Sword and Shield conference and this one. Moreover, the moves made by Nintendo also show signs of bringing Go into the Pokemon fold.

The first service offered by the Pokemon Company was Pokemon Home. The franchise has become segmented between the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch, with many of the series’ fans on the former owing to its age. This is where Pokemon Home comes in.

There is an already existing service known as Pokemon Bank which allows users to store Pokemon in the cloud across 3DS games. Now, with Pokemon Home, users can store Pokemon across the Switch, Pokemon Go, and even the upcoming Pokemon games. The company also stated

“They can trade with friends or with anyone around the world directly using Pok√©mon HOME via a mobile device. A potential future addition will even allow multiple players in a single location to trade all at once.”

This shows a strong focus towards mobile, an attitude only followed up with the next announcement. Pokemon Sleep is another mobile application that allows players to “wake up with Pokemon every morning.” Not much information was given regarding the new game, except that it was a new way to interact with the Pokemon caught in Pokemon Go.

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The game is set to launch alongside a new device that is based on the previously released Pokemon GO Plus. This will track the sleeping patterns of users and transmit the data to the phone with Bluetooth. Reportedly, it can also be used to play Pokemon Go during the day and Pokemon Sleep at night. The game is set for launch in 2020.

The company is also developing a new game for mobile devices known as Pokemon Masters. This is the latest addition in their mobile lineup and represents a completely new attitude of Nintendo towards mobile.

Created by The Pokemon Company and DeNA, the experience is reportedly a “new type of Pokemon battling on the go”. The company also mentioned that it would feature many famous Trainers from the Pokemon video games, and features a game design fit for casual pick up and play sessions.

The game is set to release in 2019, with more details coming next month. This marks 2 games in active development for mobile, with another known as ‘Pokemon Quest’ being released recently. Pokemon Go is also being updated with new content almost every month and has a sizeable player base.

Setting The Path For Global Adoption

Nintendo realised with the quick adoption of Pokemon Go that mobile was a market that they could target easily. The prevalence of the platform allowed them to reach markets that they previously couldn’t. This presented new money-making opportunities for the company.

The move towards mobile seems to be something that the giant is taking seriously, owing to the financial and brand benefits from the move. It is left to see what the future holds for this division.

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