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Interview with Niantic about Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go
Recently VentureBeat had an interview with John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, and Mike Quigley, chief marketing officer at Niantic, about working with Pokemon and Nintendo. They went over what players can expect from Pokemon Go. They went over what their team learned from Ingress how it helped them in the development of Pokemon Go.

There are many interesting things to take out from this interview. Below are a few bullet points from the interview.


  • Pokemon, Google, and Nintendo have invested money into Niantic. It turns out that Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of The Pokemon Company, is an Ingress player and could have been the one who pushed for this type of project featuring Pokemon.
  • Niantic is planing to have Pokemon Go be playable everywhere in the world from small towns to big cities such as San Francisco. They plan to do this by enabling asynchronous play so that people can play with others who were in the area. Niantic is hoping that by doing this it will encourage everybody to play no matter their location.
  • Niantic is hoping to push the Pokemon brand to places where it hasn’t been to before due to the price point of the hardware and distribution doesn’t work out. Places like India and Brazil may have heard about Pokemon as the Trading Card Game or anime but never played a game could finally interact with the Pokemon franchise via the use of their smartphone device.
  • There will be Pokemon Gyms where you can train and level up your Pokemon. Though they are rare and may be hard to come across.
  • There will be Pokemon no matter where you live. The idea is that they want you to find a Pokemon as soon as you walk out of your house within the first five minutes. If you happen to live near water then you may see a bunch of Water Pokemon. Rare Pokemon will be harder to find but you should be able to find a Pokemon no matter where you are. Legendary Pokemon will be found in few locations.
  • Niantic want to encourage players to trade Pokemon with other players in order to catch them all. If you want to catch all the Pokemon on your own then you will have to travel all over the world. Though you should always be able to trade with somebody in your area to get what you need.
  • The “Pokemon Go Plus” device will vibrate when you’re near a Pokemon or an event. When this happens, you should be able to enter a button sequence to do a certain action like catching a Pokemon. Later you can look at your app and see what Pokemon you had captured.
  • There will be a large possibility for Pokemon Go events. They may be similar to what Ninantic has done for Ingress. Ninantic want to encourage players to get out and learn about the environment around them such as monuments and landmarks.
  • There will be a Team function where you can be part of teams with other Trainers. There is a team function in Ingress that features two teams but in Pokemon Go there will be several teams for players to join.

A lot of interesting information came out from this interview. If you wish to read the full interview then you can view it on VentureBeat.

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