So like the rest of the civilized world, I’ve seen/heard/read so much about the new Pokemon Go game that launched only 10 days ago, but has a massive (and I mean ginormous) following already.
This game has been a sensation already, both in good and bad ways, and even here in Canada where its not technically released yet it has exploded.
I, of course, had to get the game to see what it was about – testing for client integration and whatnot – and within an hour of playing it and chatting with some people who have been on it for a day or two more than me, had so many epiphanies about where this game can go in the future.
The game itself right now is fairly basic in a concept level, and I won’t explain how it works here – you can google it yourself or download one of the many guides already available to it.
What I do want to do though is write out my theories of where this game is going to go, or in my opinion where it should go.
How does this relate to passive income? Well one of the key factors in any new business is putting forth theoretical ideas of what a market will do, where it will go, and essentially how to use that market for your business. So below are my own theories and ideas of what will happen to Pokemon Go.
Evolution of Pokestops
Right now within the game are real-world buildings and locations that are Pokestops – places where you can get free items – which are historical spots, churches and more predominant buildings. Essentially if you come near one of these Pokestops in the game, you can get some free stuff. They also have a ‘boost’ option called a Lure Module that lets anyone pay to boost these stops for 30 minutes, generating extra Pokemon.
Where I see this going includes three things:
1. Businesses buying the opportunity to become a Pokestop – monthly or yearly fee to be a stop where people come to. Makes total sense to have verified businesses paying into this. Beyond the free ‘public’ stops (churches, historic landmarks, etc), this would help physical businesses advertise their location. Imagine this for restaurants, comic book stores, etc.
2. Branded Pokestops would be the next step. In the game right now they are just blue cubes on spindles, but what if McDonalds had the chance to become a Pokestop and have their logo revolving above it? In the game you can see them for miles around, so image the branding opportunities there.
3. And going even further down the road, being actually inside the physical locations of Pokestops will provide an even more location-based experience. Imagine if going near a Pokestop gives you a few items, but if you’re in the actual building (ie: a restaurant or shop), what if you get something even more unique – like advanced items or even a special Pokemon? I’m imagining a physical unit needing to be within the building (a device hooked up to a wireless router with a 10-20 foot radius) that the business would have to buy/rent/whatever and suddenly people NEED to be in your shop to get that bonus. Or taking this a step further, what if people had to purchase an item (ie: a Big Mac) to obtain access to a special item??
Trading and the New Currency
This idea is going to be very obvious shortly. The game MUST evolve to allow interaction and trading among players. When that happens, a whole new market will emerge. I’m talking further than just trading Pokemon with your buddies. I’m talking people who find the most rare items or Pokemon and suddenly they are up on Ebay for $10,000. Players who are fully engulfed in the game who just can’t find that one or two special Pokemon they need to compete in the higher level battles will be bidding fast and high if its the only chance they’ll get that item.
Now taking this even further, what happens if you can start trading Pokemon for other physical goods (outside of just cash)? What if a shop will let you purchase an item – let’s say a shirt – for an mid-level Pokemon. Of course this would be knowing that the value of that Pokemon could be traded on the imaginary Pokemon Market for actual cash? Or perhaps if I am a business owner, and I want a logo made, I go on UpWork.com and offer a high level Pokemon that I have in my collection in exchange for design services?
Now imagine again if this trading/selling becomes true – the number of new markets, jobs, services that will pop up will be amazing. Companies will pay people to play the game in hopes of finding the more valuable items. People will create services to play the game for you or play their own game till they find the item you’re looking for. Physical shops will open with an inventory of digital Pokemon that you can buy from them.
Where the Game Needs to Evolve
The game itself is fairly simple right now, but there are so many areas for it to expand.
One of the obvious areas is player interactions. This can be with the trading as noted above, creating ‘clans’ or groups for your friends (bonus for battles, trading, etc), and my personally favorite idea: battling to get to a Pokemon first. This last idea I think the game needs asap. Imagine if the Pokemon you find could be snatched up by someone else playing nearby? What if both of you find one at the same time, and the game gets harder to make you both try to catch it before the other does. Totally possible with this game, and with the augmented reality part it could be fun to watch it behave, if you get to see the other player’s Pokeballs flying at the Pokemon as you’re trying to catch it too? That interaction level is definitely missing in my (one day of playing) opinion.
Will these thoughts ever happen? Who knows. I just know that my business/marketing mind went here within an hour of seeing the game’s potential and I know others probably have too.
Where do you see this game evolving?? Did I miss something, or do you have another idea that will blow people’s minds? Let us know below! There is much money to be made with a game that got this big, this fast.