Pokemon GO – bound to succeed

Pokemon GO is a huge success. In less than two weeks after its release, it has become one of the most successful mobile games of all time. Additionally, this game has boosted Nintendo’s stock price by 25%. But why? Read more.

The key to success in games is the gamification model. I will show you what motivates users to play Pokemon GO.  For this analysis, I am going to use Octalisis framework.


In game:Pokeball - pokemon go
  • Beginner’s Luck – The effect where people believe they have some type of gift that others don’t. At the beginning in Pokemon GO you have this luck to get your first unique Pokemon.
  • Free Lunch – In every 5-10 minutes you can  visit a Pokestop and get Pokeballs and other items for free.
  • Destiny Child – For most of the players the biggest motivation to play. This anime series was really popular among most of us 🙂
  • CoCreateor – You are a CoCreator of the Pokemon world. You can influence other people by telling them about nearby Pokemon or you can fight for a GYM. Additionally, you can increase the prestige of the GYM.
  • Elitism –  instills group pride. Each member tries to secure the pride of the group by taking specific actions –  fight for a GYM.
  • Narrative – Pokemon GO gives the player a backstory, which provides the reason to play the game. You have to catch them all 😉

Not right now:

  • Humanity Hero
  • Higher Meaning
 Points: 6/8


character - Pokemon GO

  • Points – you gather Experience Points(XP) and increase your Trainer level. Each capture awards XP based on the Pokemon caught, whether you’ve caught that Pokemon before, and the accuracy of your throw.
  • Badges – you can collect achievements in many categories. For example, the Travel Badge (walk about 10 kilometers) or the Pokedex Badge (register 50 Pokemon to a Pokedex)
  • Progress bar – you have progress bars for you and your Pokemon.
  • Win Prize – win prizes for controlling a gym for 21 h
  • Crowning – when you win a gym
  • LevelUp Symphony – after each level  there is a levelling up ceremony.
  • Aura effect  you can influence other people by using Incense (lures wild Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes) – it works for all nearby users.
  • Step-by-step tutorial – there is a playable tutorial at the beginning
  • Boss fights – in the GYM with other player’s Pokemon.

Not right now:

  • Leaderboard
  • Quest Lists
  • High-Five

Points: 9/12


Users are engaged in a creative process where they repeatedly figure new things out and try different combinations.
 Items - Pokemon Go
  • Milestone Unlock – you can fight for a gym and train your Pokemon there when you reach level 5. 
  • General’s Carrort  – a clear goal: catch them all 🙂
  • Real-Time Control  – the whole game is in real-time, even Pokemon battles.
  • Instant feedback – you get it for every action.
  • Boosters – potion (a spray-type medicine for treating wounds. It restores the HP of one Pokemon by 20 points). Revive (a medicine that can revive fainted Pokemon), Incense (lures wild Pokemon) etc.
  • Choice perception – many choices: team, area/time when you like catching Pokemon


Not right now:

  • Evergreen Mechanics
  • Chain Combos
  • Voluntary autonom
  • Blank fills

Points: 6/10


Egg pokemon - Pokemon GOPeople feel like they own or control something.
  • Virtual Good  – Pokemon, gyms, items, virtual money
  • Build from Scratch – you have 0 Pokemon on the start
  • Collection set – Pokemon collections: Grass, Poison, Fire, Water, Flying, Ground, Bug, Normal, Rock, Dragon etc.
  • Avatar – at the beginning you can create your own character
  • Learning Curve – you learn more about Pokemon, about throwing techniques.
  • Protection – gym protections.
  • Monitoring – you watch your Pokemon eggs
Not right now:
  • Recruitment
Points: 7/8


  • Friending – it’s an interesting thing. This aspect isn’t in the game but it happens when you meet people who are catching Pokemon in the same place.
  • Bragging – you can share your extra new Pokemon and take photo of them
  • Water Cooler – you can’t do it in the game, but you can do it when you meet other people in the same place in real life.

Not right now:

  • Social Treasure/Gifting
  • Mentorship
  • Group Quest
  • SeeSaw Bump
  • Thank-You Economy
  • Social Prods
  • Conformity anchor
  • Touting

On one hand, it is the weakest Pokemon gamification aspect, on the other, it is the most exciting one: it  happens in the real world.

Points:  3/11


Pokestop - Pokemon GO

  • Appointment Dynamics – Pokemon that can be caught at night are different from those you find in the daytime
  • Fixed Intervals –  in every 5-10 minutes you can visit Pokestop to get next award
  • Dangling – you can buy Incense for real money
  • Count Down – you have to wait 5-10 minutes in PokesStop to get next award
  • Moats  – it’s harder to catch rare Pokemon.
Not right now:
  • Prize Pacing
  • Options Pacing
  • Patient Feedback
  • Throttles

Points:  5/9


  • Glowing Choice – you play from the very beginning. You don’t have to read a long manual. You feel smart and competent to play this game
  • Visual Storytelling – tutorial is like conversation
  • Random Rewards – you get random rewards after visiting a Pokestop

Not right now:

  • Easter Eggs/Sudden Rewards
  • MiniQuests
  • Rolling Rewards
  • Obvious Wonder
  • Mischief
  • Oracle Effect

Points:  3/9


Motivation to prevent something negative from happening.
  • Sunk-cost tragedy – I have so many Pokemon. I can’t stop to playing.
  • Progress loss – you can lose your gym
  • FOMO – fear of missing out. You open Pokemon go to check Pokemon which happen to be nearby.
  • Evanescence Opportunity  – you have to catch Pokemon if you see them, because they can disappear
  • Status Quo Sloth – if you are on a walk. You can catch new Pokemon.
  • Scarlet letter – you can compare your progress with your friends. It’s socially uneappealing not to move forward in the game.
  • Visual grave – Pokemons with 0 health in your pokedex
Points:  7/7




Pokemon GO – bound to succeed

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