1. Thunderrise
  2. Blog
  3. How to Make a Game Like Pokemon Go
How to Make a Game Like Pokemon Go

How to Make a Game Like Pokemon Go


Nintendo, which is famous for their consoles and game series (Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda), recently has put on the market their first game for smartphones. They entered mobile game market with Pokemon GO.

Before we answer the question “How to make a game like Pokemon GO?” Let’s dig in for details and history of the Pokemon franchise.

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is a new lease on life to the extremely popular game for portable Nintendo gamepads that was ported to smartphones. The main goal is to catch as many Pokemons as possible.

BUT, unlike classic Pokemon games the action takes place in the virtual world, the Go version takes place in the real world. You must catch Pokemons with your smartphone.

What is Pokemon Go

How it works?

You download the game, open the map, see the Pokemon on the map and catch it to make an addition to your collection. The thing is that you can’t control your hero directly in the game. The motto of Pokemon go is “Get up, get out and explore!”. It motivates you to get to the real places, explore the world and communicate with fellow players.

Take your smartphone, look around with switched on camera, and somewhere nearby you should spot a small creature. Then you need to take aim at him with Pokeball. You can train caught Pokemones to challenge other Pokemon owners.

Augmented reality

Before we continue our discussion about Pokemons, we thought it would be better to make an introduction to AR game development.

Simply put, augmented reality is an integration of digital elements to the environment in real time that you can experience with the help of:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android devices
  • VR-headset

However, it differs from virtual reality (VR) as it adds the digital elements to existing places, rather than creating independent artificial environment.

The Origin of Pokemons

First of all, Pokemon mania has started not a few months ago as it may seem.

The legend has it, that all started at the year of 1990 when the game designer Satoshi Tajiri saw a bug climbing on the cable connecting two Nintendo Gameboys. Being a keen entomologist as a child, Tajiri has come up with an idea for the game where you need to search for creatures and compete with other players. Fortunately, it was possible on Gameboy.

When the game was introduced to executives in the company, they didn’t fully understand the concept, but despite that, they decided to support enfant prodige. Their most valuable contribution was the personal presence of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda.

Augmented reality

It took six years to develop the first game Pokémon Red and Green, and it had almost led to Tajiri's’ company to bankruptcy. At some point there were serious salary delays for employees. The development of other games and the investments made by game studio Creatures has helped Nintendo to survive this period. Creatures investment paid off well as the company has received 34% right of possession for all Pokemon games and related goods.

In the original Pokemon game series you perform the role of Pokemon master. Your goal is to travel around the fantasy world, catch Pocket Monsters (that’s how the word Pokemon was formed), and make them fight with other Pokemon owners. The main schticks of the project are a huge amount of Pokemons, collection mechanics, and the trumpet-call “Gotta Catch 'Em All”.

Let’s look inside Pokemon Go

How to create a game like Pokemon Go?

We have determined what Augmented reality game development is, and how the reality gets blended with fantasy. Now let’s find out how to make a Pokemon game for iOS and Android.

Let’s study the stash of technologies that's used in app like Pokemon Go:

  • Augmented reality package for Unity3D complements local environment with virtual creatures, and it allows the users interact with them with the usage of hardware: camera, accelerometer, and compass.
  • Pokemon Go strongly depends on Geolocation. It determines the whereabouts of Pokemon Gyms and PokéStops, and also the type of Pokémon you can catch. Unity3D with Google Maps integration enables the usage of the map like a texture in the game.
  • A game like a Pokemon Go requires strong Backend to store data with players info, coordinates of Pokemons and other game places, and to make real time synchronizations.
  • The game is free to play, but it has donation based monetization. You are encouraged to purchase various boosters, bait for Pokemons, extra time during catching, etc. And as a result, Pokemon Go has in-app purchases.

The AR games becomes more popular and this has led to uprise of Augmented Reality game studios. They specialize in game development and custom design. Such developers use advanced tools to build the best entertainment products. But, not every company can develop an AR game like Pokemon Go.

Now that we checked out essential parts for apps like Pokemon Go, let's do a quick calculation on development time and figure how much does Pokemon Go cost.

How much does it cost to develop a Pokemon Go clone?

Not to scare you right off, I'll just say A LOT! Okay, prepare yourself. First answer to a question "How long did it take to make Pokemon Go clone?" The truth is estimated time to create the exact clone of Pokemon Go is 4000 development hours, which equals to 1,5 years of hard working on the project. And if we take into consideration average minimum hourly rate $ 50 per hour, total expends on the app will be about $ 200 000. Okay, that's a scary price that Nintendo willed to invest and got increse of its market share on $ 9 billion. So they invested like 2% of the profit it got and continue on getting. Ask now the right question "How much is Pokemon Go business estimated value?" It's $ 29 billion. Is it plenty or is it few? It's a choice of those who wish to invest and prosper.

Have a few ideas for startup like creating Pokemon Go clone or planning to launch your own business in game development? We can give you more precise tips. And if you take interest in price and cost to develop a game like Pokemon Go feel free to check our article on how much does it cost to develop a mobile app.
Thunderrise Dev Team is at your service, please contact us!