Pokémon GO Came To Exist After Google’s April Fools’ Day Joke

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Niantic CEO John Hanke had recently discussed how Pokémon GO was born after collaborating with The Pokémon Company on their “Google Maps mashup for April Fool’s three years ago.”

Now, in an interview with Weekly Famitsu (translated by Nintendo Everything), Niantic Japan representative president Setsuto Murai has shed more light on how the project came to be.

“That Pokémon Challenge was a chance for us to be able to build relations with people at Pokémon, and then [The Pokémon Company] president [Tsunekazu] Ishihara and John [Hanke] were able to meet and talk,” Murai explained. “At that time both of their thoughts and visions were also very close, and as a union of their spirit, the talk became ‘Let’s do something together in the future.’

He later added, “In Google, there’s a culture where the staff release ideas for April Fools’, then they make their own teams to realise those. But for Pokémon Challenge, it was a staff member named Tatsuo Nojima who pulled out that idea, and he became the centre of the development.”

Murai went on to discuss the increasing integration of location-based services in game applications, and that they are excited about the possibilities of combining such features with the world of Pokémon.

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After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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