The Business Decisions Behind Nintendo’s Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is the sensational game that has gripped millions around the world since launching only two weeks ago.

The free app is already more popular than social media phenomenons Facebook and Snapchat which have taken years to reach their top spot standings.

Pokémon Go has boosted the share price by 90% for developer Nintendo that had been gently floating downwards for a good time.

The game could be a fad that will soon die a death and disappear from the public imagination like Candy Crush, but Pokémon Go is different and should have more staying power.

The secret behind the app’s success is that the game fulfils a space that was otherwise empty in the gaming world.

Gap in the market

Nintendo was the most popular games console a few years ago but had lost market share to Microsoft and Sony who powered up the Xbox and PlayStation to give players complete immersion in expensive game worlds.

But whereas a lot of people have one of their machines, mobile phones are now almost a universal gadget.

The gap in the market was developing a game that was simple, quick and easy to download that can be played on the move on a low powered phone with limited video and audio capabilities.

Pokémon Go fills that slot.

The app wins on all fronts. Nintendo have signed up millions of new users who otherwise shun the gaming world because they are not ready to invest significant time and cash in gaming consoles and their complicated worlds.

Fair play to Nintendo

Microsoft and Sony have been caught napping and lag in the new marketplace because they failed to spot the opportunity.

Businesses can learn from Nintendo’s Pokémon Go approach by looking for and exploiting trends that are otherwise invisible to their competitors.

Add social media to a simple app game like Pokémon Go and play takes on a new dimension as a community activity.

As a business opportunity Pokémon Go has created a new market and side-stepped the costly and uncertain need to go toe-to-toe with strong competitors.

Fair play to Nintendo and Pokémon Go for spotting an underserved market and taking on the investment risk that seems destined to become a huge success.

What is Pokémon Go?