Recently, I keep being asked when Pokemon Go will come to China, that I am also wondering, because Chinese people, particularly the 80’s generation like me, who are influenced deeply by Pokemon manga, movie & game etc and also are the mature digitalized generation, do can’t help screaming “I want to play!!”
However, as a native Mandarin and Cantonese Speaker, who are working on digital marketing in China & Asia regions over 8 years, especially understand and recognize the true aspect in China, I do say to you “No”, unless it will be a 100% China version like saying “Baidu map + Tencent Game + China Government Monitoring”.
Why? Firstly, Google map has been kicked out of China, so it must replace with Baidu map here; Secondly, it might be Tencent or 163 mobile game developer instead of Niantic, because I’m sure you’re able to understand, China government never allow USA & Japan company to grab the location big data insight, for understanding where the players are not allowed to go into for Pokemon capture, which means probably those places are the China secret military base etc. Thus, as a Pokemon Go is a global scale and base “animal capture interaction game”, thus based on the rational reason, it’s absolutely difficult to execute with good user experience by 2 sets of core GPS + Game Data Base. And most important, based on political reason, NO WAY! Unless China government is still sleeping and unaware of it.
So according to above China scenario, on the other hand, what will happen if the countries allow it to get on the shelf in Apple store and Google play? I think below are 4 real Pokemon Goal:
1, Global Location Based Big Data
It’s straightforward that Pokemon Go is able to generate and collect a series of data, for example, a XXX cute fish which is a water nature Pokemon, has the highest capturing and rate% in a place filtered by global or a country. At the same time, if Pokemon Go releases some rare water nature Pokemon in the other lower or even 0% captures places, it might also be able to influent people traveling destination, weekend hacking plan to there etc. And of coz, Pokemon go can grab a list of secret location data which might be harm to national security like a military base or nuclear experimental institution. Last but not least, even though it’s not dealing with the location people privacy information, but it must be utilized onto a mobile advertising like mobile DSP because Pokemon already has been able to lock and identify who is the user, what she/he likes, where she/he often stays and often travels to etc.
2, Monetize the Mobile AR Application
As we can see, just in a short time, Pokemon Go ranks No.1 in Apple store & Google play, it’s no doubt at this moment that users absolutely are willing to pay for something to feed their Pokemon and let them evolute to a higher level, after all they are so cute かわいいね、players are not willing to see their animals will fail in a fighting due to an argument from a queue jumping, thus we are able to foresee in-app purchase will be a quick revenue increasing point and for long term, I’m sure it will have much revenue from advertising, offline affinity partnerships to enrich the player experience, functionality. Like you might be able to capture a ghost Pokemon in a Disney ghost house, who knows!!.
Pokemon Go is a good case sample for the mobile AR application, because AR technology is booming now and will be a key trend in the future, but for its monetizing, it still has less successful cases in a global consumer market scale.
3, Mobile AR Usage Education
Didi Dache (嘀嘀打车) App, which is called China Uber, started the user base increasing with buying user base, that means paying the taxi most or even all fees to taxi drivers, in order to educate users a way to call a taxi by App and enhance the user trusty with Didi Dache App.
On the similar scenario with Pokemon Go, although it is not the buying user model as a start, it also educates players that mobile AR can be interesting, reliable and convenient for her/his action, that mindset can shorten users to accept any new coming AR application in the future, so that I can foresee it will be a skyrocket increasing of AR application in coming 2 years.
4, Best Global Brand Awareness Campaign – Niantic & Nintendo
As a marketer, instinctively I do say it’s a good brand awareness campaign case, particularly for Niantic and Nintendo. I am not saying it doesn’t drive awareness for Pokemon itself, to some extent, Pokemon is the key element why people are willing to download App and try playing via Mobile AR. If you say this game were the Disney Go, or Zoopie Go, I might recognize that it will be a game providing ticket offer or toy discount. Thus, Pokemon itself is a very good hook and game theme. Pokemon is the best partner in this project.
For me, I know Niantic from Ingress, which is a LBS mobile game. As we know Niantic is strong in mobile GSP game and AR technology, but honestly, not many people know the brand, unless they are our industrial friends. Thus, as you can see from Google trend, Niantic search volume sharply increases to a highest historical level within a week, that really helps and build its brand awareness globally in AR and mobile game industry.
My 1st game device was Game boy and now I am playing NDS as well, so Nintendo has been with me for over 20 years. I have ever worried about Nintendo future, because as I study Japan culture, Japanese often react too slowly to survive in the global market unless they are aware (Sony walkman and Playstation is the case). But now Nintendo again increases its brand awareness by Pokemon Go again, but also awareness in a booming area – AR,I do feel happy for it after all Nintendo is my friend already, I believe it’s also your friend, looking forward much interesting and funny from Nintendo
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