John Nanke, founder of Niantic, took part in an interview with Game Informer, where they talked about Pokemon Go. At one point, he talks about Miyamoto. Nanke said that he “hasn’t talked to Miyamoto-san post-launch, but certainly we’ve been in touch with Nintendo and Miyamoto. He was on-stage with us when we announced the project, it had been under development for some time, but he was onstage when we publicly announced it in Japan back in September of last year. So, it’s definitely something that he’s been aware of and has provided his perspective on”. When mentioned that it seemed like he’s excited in the project, Nanke said that “I don’t want speak for Mr. Miyamoto. I have a huge amount of respect for him, so I don’t want to put words in his mouth. I hope he likes our game. He is aware of it and we have gotten feedback from him. At the same time, he’s not been involved as a producer or game designer, he’s not been hands-on in that way. I was very, very honored to be on stage with him whenever we did our initial announcement and had the opportunity to hang out with him, talk about games, and bluegrass music. It turns out he’s a big bluegrass music fan. He plays the banjo. Very interesting guy”.
Nanke also talked about how post-launch has been. He said that “we hoped that the game would be successful and we had ambitious goals for it. But it definitely exceeded our expectations in every way. I mean, hitting that number one in the free apps and top-grossing apps yesterday was unexpected for us on day one with a partially launched product. So yeah it’s been amazing. More impressive than the charts and the raw numbers have been the social activity, engagement, all the user stories that are flooding Reddit and flooding online social platforms – great stories about groups of people going on giant organized Pokémon walk in Sydney, I heard something like that’s getting organized in Los Angeles, I saw photos this morning of big groups of people who had congregated around gyms last night just sort of spontaneously. So that part of it is super exciting to us because our whole thing, the whole mission for Ingress is to get people out of the house and encourage people to exercise and get out of the living room and go out into the neighborhood, those are the most exciting images for us. People getting out, going to new places, and making new friends, and socializing, playing with their existing friends out in the real world, that’s awesome to see”.
Nanke addressed future plans and the server issues, saying that “In terms of there being a silver or a ruby-red, or whatever, our current focus is just on enhancing and improving Pokémon Go. It is an MMO, so it is something we’re committed to regular updates and that. There will be new clients and server iterations pushed bi-weekly”. The Short term plan is to “keep the servers up and to launch in the rest of the countries that we’re not in yet” Overall, Nanke feels good about how the launch has been. He said “I feel very happy. We want to get the servers stabilized and launch to the rest of the countries, but I’m delighted and just overwhelmed with the response. It’s gratifying to see after so many long months of work. It’s a great payoff to see people enjoying the product.”
Thanks, Chris Ford