‘Pokémon GO’, Conceived As An April Fools’ Joke But Has Since Secured Satoru Iwata’s Legacy

Posted: July 12, 2016 in Game Articles

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by Ollie Barder via Forbes

While the release of Pokémon GO has been momentously successful, it’s worth realizing that game originated as an April Fool’s joke on the part of Satoru Iwata. However, the game’s impact shows his legacy is still with us.

The April Fool’s joke in question (shown below) was in fact thought up by both Satoru Iwata and Tsunekazu Ishihara of The Pokémon Company. In collaboration with Google GOOGL +0.90% this then became known as the Pokémon Challenge. In addition, Tatsuo Nomura at Google Maps also went on to work at Niantic who then became the core of the Pokémon GO project.

However, the initial start, while in jest, retains much of Iwata’s lateral thinking approach. Much in the same way he helped to conceive the Wii’s motion controls, Iwata knew in a nascent sense that merging Pokémon with a real world map based component could work very well indeed.

The other important thing here is that while Ingress did something similar beforehand, the success we are now seeing for Pokémon GO is something only that property could leverage with this kind of augmented reality implementation.

Niantic have done a great job all told and while the game is not without its technical and design based faults, they appear to be aware of these issues and are working to fix them.

Now, I am not one to attribute blanket credit to a single individual. Games are made by large groups of people, all of whom have an important part to play. However, as Iwata was the president of Nintendo his input is still something that needs to be taken into account.

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