Sleeping gets turned into a game with Pokémon Sleep
For over 20 years, Pokémon has been a staple in video games. Much like Super Mario and Sonic, generations of people found themselves enamored with these colorful creatures. After conquering video games, Pokémon will try to conquer a new foe: your sleep.
Busy counting sheep
During a press conference in Tokyo, Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara gave a quick overview of a new mobile game. With numerous Pokémon mobile titles, including Pokémon Go, many assumed it was another action game. To everyone’s surprise, Ishihara revealed a new titled called Pokémon Sleep.
The game will track your sleeping patterns throughout the night. Pokémon Sleep will only be used through the Pokémon GO Plus+. This device, which is also in the works, will be an updated version of the Pokemon GO Plus. The wristband makes it easier for people to play Pokémon Go without using their phone. With the retail price of $35, fans can expect the new version to cost about the same. There’s no actual word if its in-game activity will unlock special Pokémon Go perks.
A groundbreaking mobile game
This sleep tech can be attributed to the overwhelming success of the aforementioned Pokémon Go. Released in 2016, the game quickly became one of the biggest mobile games released. Fans were able to catch Pokémon in their backyard through its strong tie to augmented reality. While augmented reality games have existed, none have gained the massive level of popularity like Pokémon Go.
“I don’t think any game in history had that sort of global pop culture moment in the way Pokémon Go did. The way it’s spread globally so quickly in a short spread of time — it’s a very high standard to say “Oh, it’s not as popular now as it was in July or August of 2016.” We definitely went through that period where people said: “Oh there aren’t mobs of people in Central Park every day like there were in July and August, obviously nobody’s playing Pokémon Go anymore.” That sort of… pop culture awareness goal passed, and then the really successful game phase kicked in,” Niantic founder John Hanke told CNET. As expected, Ishihara knew Pokémon Go would create huge numbers. “It took two years for Pokémon to boom worldwide 18 years ago, but Pokémon GO spread in a week,” he told Nikkei Asian Review. Since its release, Pokémon GO has brought in $3 billion in revenue. With over one billion downloads, it’s the most downloaded mobile game of all time.
One of the main reasons for Pokémon Go‘s success involved exercising. Many people have been using the game as an alternative fitness tool. By having to walk around to find new Pokémon, people are burning calories by the day. In a study by the University of Washington, it was determined that the game also brought families together. “People still don’t really know how to build tech that works well for families, so when this game came out of the blue and really caught on, we wanted to look at what its ingredients for success were,” student Kiley Sobel stated in the study.
Still beloved by millions worldwide
Pokémon Sleep, which releases in 2020, will easily cater to fans both old and new. To many, seeing a 23-year-old franchise finding new paths is quite remarkable. For The Pokémon Company, it’s just business as usual at the office. “The biggest achievement for Pokémon over the last 20 years is that you can go just about anywhere in the world and you will still be able to talk about it. The next big goal for us is to maintain Pokémon as a part of the culture,” Ishihara told The Wall Street Journal.