clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How to perfectly replicate the success of Pokémon Go in three steps

It's easy, and profitable!

Pokémon Go is a very popular game that is helping many people find a reason to leave the house in order to have their picture taken for incredulous Facebook posts about the popularity of Pokémon Go. Everyone is making money from the game, including Nintendo, because stock prices are completely irrational.

But if you weren’t Nintendo and you wanted to cash in, how would you do so? The game has taught the industry many important lessons about engagement and how to grow a viral success, so here are the three things you can do to create a similar product and become famous overnight, in about a few decades.

Spend 20 years developing a huge franchise

This may seem challenging, but if you don’t have a huge franchise that spans dozens of games and multiple television shows and movies in 20 years you’re going to be really sad you didn’t spend the time to make this happen. Spending 20 years building the demand and nostalgia for a brand is important if you want an overnight success in mobile.

This may seem tricky, but it can be super helpful if you create your own platforms for these games, so maybe also create a hugely successful line of portable gaming systems. You’ll have to start now, because this process takes 20 years, and in 20 years if you don’t have your own line of hardware for your huge franchise, you’re going to really wish you had taken the time to master this step.

Don’t worry if you don’t have 20 years of runway left on you startup; once your franchise becomes huge you can actually make money selling games on your own hardware in order to get ready to finance a partial stake in the game that you will use to compete with Pokémon Go. So you better hop to it!

Find the perfect partner

Niantic came out of nowhere to create Pokémon Go with little more than a long history of creating games based on geographic data, so it’s important you also look for a company that has spent an ungodly amount of time building up systemic knowledge and understanding of the sort of game you want to make.

It’s super helpful if the founder once had a company that was sold to Google and had a hand in creating Google Maps itself, but it’s not strictly necessary. That sort of thing probably happens all the time, and your own Pokémon Go competitor is just a well-argued contract with a third-party company away.

Perhaps you can find a startup while you’re spending your 20 years creating your huge, well-known franchise and tell them to spend the same amount of time creating industry-leading dominance in their field? Having that connection before you begin work on your Pokémon Go clone could prove very helpful.

Add AR or some shit

That just means to use the camera on everyone’s phone. No one knows what AR really is, so as long as you can use the phone's camera you can probably say you’re using AR. AR stands for "agoraphobic reaction," and if you tell an investor that VR seems cool but AR is "where it’s at," you’ll find yourself with a billion dollar valuation before lunch.

AR is probably a really important aspect of Pokémon Go, because many people have said it is. You should do some kind of AR shit. It will be easy to develop and very helpful when it comes to convincing analysts you’re onto something new and exciting. Adding AR shit is absolutely crucial.

And then you’re done!

By spending decades building brand recognition while throttling supply by keeping your IP on hardware you control before partnering with an industry-leading developer uniquely situated to create the game before moving to mobile — and then adding some AR shit — you are guaranteed to have the same success as Pokémon Go. It’s an incredibly replicable experience that probably isn’t lightning in a bottle at all.

Have fun, and let us know how you do!

Our Pokémon Go PokéStop

Your source for all things Pokémon Go


The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.