Pokémon Go: Virtual Invading Reality
(5 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In June 2016, the augmented reality game Pokémon GO quickly became one of the hottest topics in the world, changing both the online and offline behaviours of players. Pokémon GO was jointly developed by the San Francisco-based firm Niantic Inc. and The Pokémon Company, based in Japan, and was underwritten by the Japanese video game giant Nintendo. The game, which overlaid virtual items and creatures onto the physical world, allowed smartphone users to seek out and capture a variety of virtual monsters in real-world locations. With easy-to-follow game rules, Pokémon GO rapidly picked up a wide range of players and, within a relatively short period of time, generated considerable income through in-app purchases. The sudden popularity (and the eventual decline in interest) of the new game provoked debates about the technology behind it. How could developers use augmented reality technology to satisfy customer needs, address business challenges, and promote social welfare?
The case provides a platform for undergraduate and MBA students to discuss marketing and strategy problems in a technological context. The case can be adapted for use in courses dealing with strategy development, novel marketing approaches, and technology-related topics. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to:
- describe the economic benefits that an augmented reality game delivers to its developers and owners;
- analyze the business implications and opportunities of augmented reality technology; and
- explain how augmented reality technology can be used to satisfy customer needs, address business challenges, and promote social welfare.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Canada; United States, Large, 2016
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