A phenomenon is the right word to describe what Niantic has accomplished with Pokemon GO. The combination of the concept of Augmented Reality, Pokemon catching gameplay, and activities that melt into the real world make it popular. Even though the echo isn’t as loud as it was at least the first year it was released, Pokemon GO is still establishing itself as a mobile game with high income. This success seems to lock in a similar game concept which will be further explored in the future. This time, it was developed together with Nintendo.
Carrying almost the same concept as Pokemon GO, Niantic and Nintendo announced a new mobile game project that will now be based on the Pikmin universe. There is no gameplay yet, but this game will be designed to encourage gamers to go outside the home while making it more fun. This game itself will be developed by the Tokyo branch of the Niantic studio and will be their first project. The Pikmin game, which still doesn’t have an official name, is planned to be released globally in 2022.
Apart from the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS which now dominates the Japanese market and continues to be peppered with a myriad of exclusive games that deserve thumbs up, the fate of their big brother – the Nintendo Wii U which is positioned as their next-gen console is even more grim. The loss of support from several large developers and publishers seems to kill the potential of this console as a comfortable “home” for third-party developers. Although many gamers are pessimistic that the Wii U will be able to compete, especially with the presence of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One in sight, this latest phenomenon proves otherwise. There is still hope in the exclusive Wii U gaming grabbers.
The wait is long enough, the teaser that has been flowing since the introduction of the Wii U, and of course the roots of the gameplay now combined with more perfect visuals – Pikmin 3 is finally officially released to the market. This strategy game with an addictive combat system immediately established itself as the weekly best-selling game on the Japanese market. He managed to record sales figures of more than 92,000 pieces, beating other competitors by a considerable distance. As can be predicted, Pikmin 3’s success is also a capable pulley to pull back the Nintendo Wii U from its “grave”. With the release of the game, the Wii U managed to sell nearly three times its regular weekly sales volume – jumping from 8,000 units to around 22,100 units. Meanwhile the Nintendo 3DS still tops the competition.
This is of course clear evidence, that despite the pessimism of many gamers, the Wii U looks like it will bring back the identity and selling points of the Wii in the past – where the exclusive franchise will be the foundation to restore its popularity. It will create its own unique market that cannot be touched by Playstation, Xbox, or even PC. Pikmin 3 is clear evidence that this formula is still effective to apply. More Zelda, more Metroid, more Star Fox, more Mario, and this console looks set to find its competitive edge back in the gaming industry.