Fascinating Story Of  Pokémon Go | John Hanke | BeYourBoss

Representing you The Fascinating story of the most successful mobile game in the history of Gaming.

Pokémon Go was released on July 6th 2016 by John Hanke.

Pokémon Go is one of the most successful mobile games of all time, breaking records like fastest to cross earning of $100 million and most-downloaded game in its very first month of release. Till date, it has grossed almost $2 billion in revenue and been downloaded more than 800 million times. And till now the game remains incredibly popular.

Pokémon Go, which was hardly a week old, saw more downloads than Tinder, Twitter and many other popular apps. In just a span of 7 days, the game made people crazy and Nintendo’s shares went up at a high lightening speed.

However, this overnight success, as some might call it, But it actually took 20 long and hard years. Yes, you read that right. It took John Hanke 20 long years to perfect the much loved game of Pokémon!

When did the Journey of Pokémon Go started

The Meridian 59 phase

In 1996, while Hanke was still a student, he launched a massively multiplayer online game called “Meridian 59”. The game was so great and massive that 3DO, the gaming company, went ahead and bought it.

And that very time Hanke was motivated to launch a more advanced GPS game so called Pokémon Go. This Idea struck him by the famous cartoon show Pokémon.

Man Behind Google Earth

John Hanke is the man behind the Google Earth i.e Hanke created Keyhole, a software development company specializing in geospatial data visualization applications. Which is basically GPS linked and is the 3D aerial view of Earth. Seeing the potential of Keyhole, Google acquired it in 2004 and named it as Google Earth. That is when Hanke decided to focus on making GPS-based games.

And from 2004-2010, Hanke lead the Google Earth team. He created Google Maps and Google Street view, and too in the mean time, also setup the core team for Pokémon GO. In 2010, he launched Niantic, a start-up funded by Google to create a game based on Google maps.

In 2012, Niantic launched its first GPS based multiplayer game called “Ingress” which was surprisingly, a big hit.


On April Fools Day in 2014, Hanke launched a mini game as a joke along with Google. The prank actually worked to set precedence for the Pokémon Go game and was a viral hit, and this is what all John needed to finish what he began in 1996.

The Game was built just for Fun?

Absolutely No, In an interview with Business Insider, Hanke stated that the game had a larger objective than just providing entertainment to public.

He said, “Pokémon GO is designed to get you up and force you moving by promising you Pokémon as rewards, rather than creating pressure on the player.”

Nowadays, most people are actually making the effort to go out and explore new places. This was what Hanke wanted. He says, “By encouraging exploration, Pokémon GO can make your life better in some small way.”

“People are organising Pokémon GO outings and walks. This game promotes the value of inclusiveness, and is making people meet other people and add a fresh perspective in life,” Hanke says while describing Pokémon GO as an icebreaker that gives people a curious reason to spend time together.”

The launch

Hanke raised a whooping funding of $25 million from Nintendo, Google, and other investors from Dec 2015 to Feb 2016. The team launched Pokémon GO on 6th july and made history in the field of gaming. The game went viral and topped the charts in downloads. With virtual reality and stunning interface that got people hooked instantly, Pokémon GO is definitely the sweet result of one man’s vision that he saw 20 years before.

Sometimes, you have to wait longer for some dreams to come true. But when they do, you can taste the fruit of success for a very long time. So much respect for Hanke!