Since the arrival of Pokémon GO last year we've had reports of accidents - many of them fatal - directly attributed to the game. People have been caught playing the smartphone title whilst driving, for example, while others have run into misfortune because they've either strayed onto private property or simply haven't been paying attention to where they're going. While these are arguably cases of common sense not being involved, it has undeniably created some bad press for the game to balance out the reported health benefits.
Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara is aware of these problems, and has stated in an interview with Asian Nikkei that a new device developed in conjunction with Nintendo - perhaps an updated Pokémon GO Plus - could be on the way which allows the game to be played more safely.
In the interview, Ishihara also touches upon the incredible power of smart devices when it comes to promotion. He cites the incredible effort required to create and distribute the Pokémon cartoon show in almost 100 countries around the world, and then states that with direct access to around one billion smart devices worldwide, a game like Pokémon GO represents a much easier means of promotion. Ishihara claims that the app has helped lapsed fans who are now in their 20s or 30s to rediscover their love of the brand - something that perhaps would not have been possible if the company had stuck to more traditional marketing ideas, such as the aforementioned TV show, which is aimed at children.
Finally, he covers how the industry has changed in the era of the internet, with staggered release dates slowly becoming a thing of the past:
Today, for game developers, it's a must to launch titles in all markets at the same time. Information can spread instantly online. If not, the excitement of those living in a region where a title has not yet been released could dissipate by the time they do get the chance to buy and play the game. We used to roll out titles in Japanese first, and editions in other languages would typically come six months later. However, we released the latest series in nine languages all at once.
What do you make of Ishihara's comments on these topics? Share your own feelings with a post below.