With the upcoming launch of Nintendo’s first smartphone game/app, “Miitomo” just around the corner, fans from all over the world are getting excited. Nintendo has announced a minimum of five games released by 2017 will come after the said app. One of which is Pokémon GO, which has already accumulated a fan base and still growing.
Imagine the excitement of having Pokémons running around in the real world? Playing the game, catching Pokémons, battling with them, trading and joining an arena where you fight a common enemy with the help of other users in such a given time. It’s exhilarating indeed!
Pokémon GO is co-developed by Nintendo and Niantic. It is reported that it will be the next game that the former will release as part of their goals this year.
For the past days, not only is Nintendo busy, but so is its partner Niantic. The mobile game developer, according to Twinfinite, has been busy developing Pokémon GO and answering everyone’s queries about the upcoming game that is augmented with reality functionality.
The game is so popular that Niantic have became celebrities, especially in the otaku and gaming world since it first released its initial trailer, which became viral. But with every successful game comes humble or strange beginnings.
When interviewed by Japanese magazine Famitsu, Niantic Japan Representative President Setsuto Murai and Niantic Marketing Manager Kento Suga revealed that Pokémon GO’s concept originally came to them after an April Fools event in 2014.
The interview with Famitsu was translated by Nintendo Everything which reveals the interesting beginnings of Pokémon GO. Following the interview, Murai said that during 2014, before they went independent, they were once part of a group who was in charge of handling Google Maps. They briefly had a “Pokémon Challenge” on Google Maps as part of an event for a popular holiday.
It is in that event that, the group became acquainted with people from Pokémon and its previous president, Tsunekazu Ishihara and Niantic CEO John Hanke. They were able to meet, talk and build relations. During that time, both of their thoughts and visions seem to align with everyone else or were close enough that it led to them talking about building a future together.
But how did the Pokémon Challenge in Google really begun and end up as a surprising collaboration between its namesake and the search giant? It was explained that there is a Google culture where the staff released an idea for April Fools Day and make their own teams to make it happen.
For the Pokémon Challenge, a staff member named Tatsuo Nojima became the center of the project as it was his idea. Suga eventually became a mediator for Google and The Pokémon Company. The Pokémon Challenge showed Google Map users, clues or indications of where a Pokémon might be hiding.