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Pokemon Go vs Ingress- how much does branding matter?

Updated on July 30, 2016

Pokemon Go "Social Phenomenon"

Released on 6 July, Niantic's Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game featuring location-based tracking, made a bang in the gaming industry when it got released on both the Android and Apple stores as a free game providing in-app purchases, since then, it has been downloaded over 70 million times and has become the app with the most users daily, surpassing twitter. The success of this game can be all to do with branding. Is the success of Pokemon Go all to do with the ever so successful brand Pokemon? Luckily, we have Niantic's predecessor game, Ingress, to help us find out just how important branding affects the success of not just Pokemon Go, but how important a good image and brand is.

(click column header to sort results)
Pokemon Go  
First Released on
6 July 2016
15 November 2013
75M Over 23 days
7M Over more than 2 years
Available only in 35 countries
Android only until July 2014

What's the difference between Pokemon Go and Ingress?

The two games are similar, yet at the same time have differences that make them unique. Ingress, first released in 2013, is essentially a game with a science fiction backstory while Pokemon Go is all about catching the pocket monsters called Pokemon. With a more complicated but interesting storyline and more features, Ingress is arguably a more well-made game, but still falls under the overshadowing wings of Pokemon Go. Clearly branding is evident in helping the game in its popularity.

Niantic's earlier augmented reality game, released in late 2013, has over 7 million downloads as of 2015.
Niantic's earlier augmented reality game, released in late 2013, has over 7 million downloads as of 2015. | Source


As with the evident increase of popularity Pokemon Go has seen over Ingress, it is clearly down to which game has a good brand/franchise backing it. With a brand like Pokemon, there will be loads of fans that want to "relive their childhood" and people that just like to go along with trends. Branding helps to promote recognition, which allows people to easily decide to use the product in question, and set you apart from any competitors(ironically, themselves) and quickly stand out.

What if, Pokemon Go was something else, like Mario Go? How would people react to that? Perhaps we will never know to what specific extent how much of an impact branding really makes, but we will know how much Pokemon Go has made an impact towards augmented reality and the concept of "gaming outdoors".

Are you interested in Pokemon Go?

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