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#MotivationSeries 5: Pokémon Go – it took him 20 years for ‘overnight success’

Person Holding Pokemon Ball Toy

“There’s no elevator to success – you got to take the stairs!”

It seems like Pokémon Go took over the world in a matter of days, but according to its creator, John Hanke.. “This overnight success took 20 years of hardwork, rejections, and faith!”

In 1996, while John Hanke was still a student, he launched a massively multiplayer online game called, Meridian 59.

The game was so great that 3DO, the gaming company, went ahead and bought it from him. Then John Hanke created Keyhole – GPS linked, 3D aerial view of Earth. Google immediately saw the potential in Keyhole. Google then acquired it in 2004 and turned it into Google Earth. This led John to decide that he can now focus on making GPS-based games. From 2004-2010, Hanke ran the Google Earth team. He created the Google Maps and Google Street view. And in the mean time, also put together the core team for Pokémon GO.

In 2010, he set up Niantic, a start-up funded by Google to create a game based on Google maps.

This small company launched its first geo-based multiplayer game called Ingress in 2012. This was, surprisingly, a big hit. After gathering the team for his ultimate game, John launched a mini game as a joke on April Fools’ Day in 2014 along with Google. This game was to set precedence for the Pokémon GO game that we’re so crazy about right now. The prank actually worked and was a viral hit. And this was all John needed to finish what he began. Hanke raised a whooping amount of USD 25 million from Nintendo, Google, the Pokémon company and other investors from Dec 2015 to Feb 2016.

He then immediately started to prep for the final launch.

The team launched Pokémon GO on July 6th. This game made history in the field of gaming with the game going viral and topping the charts in downloads. With augmented reality and an interface that gets people hooked instantly, Pokémon GO is definitely the sweet result of one man’s vision.

So, is the game all about entertainment only? Here’s what he has to say –

“Pokémon GO is designed to get you up and moving by promising you Pokémon as rewards, rather than placing pressure on you!”

NOTE: We are running a series on ‘success stories’ to inspire people to believe in their idea and make it big. If you have an inspiring story, or know one, we request you to share it with us at [email protected] so that we can bring it to the world..

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