Who is to blame for Pokemon Go?
Perhaps you are one of the legion of fans gobbling up pokemon in the new mobile phenomenon from Niantic. I certainly have been addicted to it these last few months. Are you frustrated with the constant server issues, lack of information on updates, and occasional broken features? Me too!
Who do we blame for this? We could blame Niantic for not anticipating the huge success this game turned out to be. We could blame Nintendo for not helping to establish a temporary community team of contractors since one does not currently exist at all at Niantic. We could even blame ourselves for our avaricious need to be spoon fed information constantly instead of letting a company function on making its product. However, the person we won’t be blaming is the Niantic Marketing Manager currently on maternity leave.
Why is this? Because I would like to believe we are not
assholes misinformed individuals like this individual “journalist” at i4u.com who published this article late last month blaming Yennie Solheim Fuller for daring to have a life outside of her job. Because to quote i4u News:
“Why is Niantic basically silent throughout the turmoil of viral growth that cause all kinds of issues?
The person who is responsible for PR and Marketing at Niantic gave birth two days after the launch of Pokemon Go. Yennie Solheim Fuller is on maternity leave.”
There are so many flaws in this article it would take a book length response to list them, but here are a few.
- a Marketing Manager is not a Community Manager
- it is virtually impossible to plan life events around a launch
- it takes a team of people to handle a launch this big for Community, not one person.
- talking to players is not her job.
I’ll let you in on a secret of the gaming industry. Things rarely go on schedule. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to plan vacations, important events and personal time around a phase or launch date to zero success. Even if Ms. Fuller scheduled her baby’s conception down to the second to have ample time for launch, it would be unlikely to happen exactly on schedule. Even if this was an unexpected pregnancy, the company had 9 nine months to consider adding to their marketing team. It would be entirely her business to decide when to enlarge her family.
HOWEVER, Let’s take a second here and think. Their marketing was spot on since we all know about the game and are playing it. In fact, their marketing was so excellent that they garnered an audience far more than they expected – enough to surpass Facebook and Snapchat users as of this month. Great job marketing team! This is the result that companies dream of. Global coverage, eager players, widespread discussion.
This brings me to another important point – a Marketing Manager is NOT a Community Manager.
“A Marketing Manager is a person within a company who supervises and helps create the various advertising or merchandising sales campaigns the business uses to sell itself and its products. A Marketing Manager can be assigned to a single product, a product line, a brand, or the entire company.” (from payscale.com)
According to this definition, she created a buzz for the game, got the word out, supplied interesting journalists and media kits to cover it, all while preparing for the birth of her child and handing things like a boss. She excels at this.
Ask i4u.com why one should have an Accountant AND a Banker, they both work with money right? Marketing and Community is the same way, just with people.
Now dolls, I understand the disgruntlement with the silence from Niantic to your feedback and questions. For this type of help you need a Community Manager. Let me drop some knowledge on you.
“A Community Manager is responsible for advocating the brand on social networks. They create their own social persona and actively go out within the online community to connect with potential customers and advocate the brand.”
Wouldn’t one of those be helpful?
So who do we blame for the widespread craze of Pokemon go spreading to all corners of the world? Yennie Solheim Fuller. Now let’s wish her a well-deserved rest.
And let’s hope that Niantic is as wise when they select a Community Manager and team to handle the rest.
Feel free to tell Luigi Lugmayr your feelings on his opinion about pregnant women and their responsibilities to the masses, even though it seems that he values his privacy enough not to have a twitter account. Sad that he doesn’t want to communicate with his readers. Maybe he needs a “Marketing Manager.”
Hey everybody, just a quick blurb about the leaked Western release of Pokémon Go. I woke up this morning to many news sites claiming that we Westerners could download the game via a mirror site and play the full experience with no issues as long as you have an Android device. So as a 30 year old man, who has a deep nostalgia for Pokémon, I had to grab my balls (the poke kind), turned on my GPS (and watched as my battery drained faster than I had ever seen it deplete before), and created my character as I booted up this app. For people who know me, I have a very big problem with mobile games. Instead of going into a more venomous rant on those experiences, I will just simply say they are not for me. You know what is for me? Pokémon.
There are not very many character creator options in Pokemon Go, but that doesn’t matter when you have the goal to catch ’em all. The new professor introduces himself and then he sets you off to catch your first pocket monster. Bulbasaur was my first! After this quick tutorial you are set off with walking around your home town, or local areas and Pokémon will start populating on the GPS map in the app. Also the map is populated with icons that are in real life art, sculptures, or major places of interest. In the game they are turned into Pokémon stores, gyms, and other Pokémon related things. Going to these hotspots offer items such as: Pokéballs, eggs, (can hatch into new Pokémon) as well as incense and other items to use to attract these catchable creatures.
I have not spent much time in Pokemon Go but I am working my way to become Level 5 so I can take on my first gym. How that works I have no idea but I will certainly report back! For now I suggest going to the mirror site where you can download the Pokemon Go app here and start your Pokémon journey!
Sometimes, all it takes is good art to get you sucked into a game, and if there’s any game that can do that, it’s Jenny LeClue. You take control of Jenny, a bespectacled detective that you honestly don’t learn much about in the demo. It’s a relatively standard point and click adventure game where you snoop for clues and try to solve a mystery. The demo has you sneaking about someone’s house trying to find some intel. The demo was only 10 minutes, which is a shame because that was just enough time to get to the main puzzle in the demo and stop playing.
Though we couldn’t play much at the show, we’re going to play the demo online and you should too.
Jenny LeClue is out later this year for PC, PS4, iOS, and Android.
Continuing the trend of visually beautiful games is Hob, a third person top down puzzle platformer. The game seems to have a story and character development, but it’s definitely slow building. The game features no dialog, no voice acting, and no text, just interacting with the environment. It’s a bold choice that doesn’t always pay off. For the duration of the demo, it was totally okay and had the effect of making the demo even more interesting and intriguing, but it may get old for a whole game. That being said, with the visual style of the game, there’s a good chance you’d be too busy looking at the environment to notice the lack of text.
Hob is coming soon to PS4 and PC.
I Am Setsuna
When Square Enix announced Tokyo RPG Factory as a dedicated developer for JRPGs, it was pretty exciting. Their first title, I Am Setsuna, was available for demo and so far, the game looks promising.
It has all the elements you’d expect from a JRPG — world map traversal with locations to explore, Chrono Trigger style enemies on the field that transition into battle, and tons of NPCs to interact with. That being said, the game is definitely rough around the edges. Tokyo RPG Factory really puts a statement out there and parts of this game just doesn’t live up to that. The music is okay, but not great. The demo showed off almost nothing comprehensible of the story, the battle mechanics weren’t terrifically interesting, just standard turn based combat, and the environments were kind of bland. It could just be that this doesn’t show well (most RPGs with the exception of Ni No Kuni don’t), and maybe the company’s name got the expectations up a bit too high, but this seems like a B+ RPG.
When the game fully releases in July of this year, we’ll see whether or not it was just PAX that made it look less good than it is, but at the moment, consider our excitement tempered.
I Am Setsuna is out July 19th for PS4, PS Vita, and PC.
Ever get the feeling that all your friends who share similar interests only exsist on the internet? There should be an app for that. Enter Leaping Tiger, a location-based friend-finding app for gamers, is now available on Android after launching for iOS and the web in May.
A social discovery tool designed for gamers who want a simple way to make friends with people nearby who share similar gaming tastes, Leaping Tiger allows users to quickly find individuals to play with, consolidate their gamertags across all platforms, and engage with the surrounding gamer community.
“If Foursquare and Tinder had a baby, and that baby was really into gaming, that’s Leaping Tiger” Amy Potter, founder, Leaping Tiger, explains. “We have seen many social platforms move away from lengthy posts and extensive profiles, but social platforms for gamers have lagged behind. We think we are providing a product that is the evolution of the online social experience for gamers. We offer a streamlined set of tools to help the community instantly connect.”
Features include the ability to create a profile with a listing of gamertags for each platform, check-in to games, message other users, location-based search prioritizing local active players and save other users’ profiles for future interactions.
Leaping Tiger provides a variety of intuitive features that allow users to:
- Create a Player Profile – Members can create a player profile housing all of their gamertags, so players with similar interests have the option to connect
- Check-In – Leaping Tiger lets the world know what games members are playing at that moment
- Instantly Connect – After finding a potential friend, users can instantly begin chatting, making it easy for gamers to organize online play sessions and meetups with the local community
- Find Local Gamers – Leaping Tiger prioritizes active members in a user’s area so gamers can locate others who share the same time zone, before searching worldwide
- Save Friends – After connecting with other Leaping Tiger members, users can save their favorite profiles to make future interactions via direct message with those individuals a breeze
The Leaping Tiger founders developed the app to fulfill the need for a simple and instant way to discover local gamers, emphasizing real connections over anonymity.
Games are better played with people you know, and the team at Leaping Tiger is passionate about bringing gamers together. You can find Leaping Tiger on Android’s Google Play Store as well as the iOS App Store, with a web based version being perfected for a summer release.
Microsoft finally has an official Xbox Live App, entitled “My XBox Live”. Some of you may be over the idea of this, having used third party apps to access your Xbox dashboard. I never did this however and I find it extremely cool to finally be able to. The app is available on the App Store today and you can use it on iPods, iPads, and of course iPhones that sport the IOS 4.3 update. (more…)