© 2016 Niantic, Inc. © 2016 Pokémon. © 1995-2016 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK inc.

20th Entertainment Division Excellence Award

Pokémon GO


“Pokémon GO” Production Team (NOMURA Tatsuo, Representative) [Japan]


Pokémon GO is a location-based game application for smartphones. Staged in the real world, it gets players to go outside and walk around as they try to capture Pokémon characters that appear on a map. When a Pokémon appears nearby, the player’s smartphone vibrates, and when the player taps the Pokémon on the map, an augmented reality feature displays it against a real-world background via the smartphone camera. The player can capture the Pokémon by tossing a Poké Ball at it. Players also train collected Pokémon and battle other players in “gyms.” Poké Balls and other tools needed to catch Pokémon can be acquired at special spots on the map known as PokéStops. Following in the footsteps of the game’s predecessor IngressPokémon GO is predicated on the concept of “adventures on foot.”

Reason for Award

This was a fusion of two worldviews, incorporating the characters from the megahit game Pokémon into Ingress, a global-scale battle game. PokéStops and Pokémon appeared at worldwide locations associated with the landmarks collected by Ingress players. Juxtaposing a layer of fantasy atop real places, the game added color to our world, and made us go outdoors to play. Players caused havoc as they vied to capture rare Pokémon. Wanted criminals were caught in the process of searching for Pokemon. Accidents and other kinds of trouble occurred when people drove while playing. Measures were demanded to prevent people from playing in train stations, places of worship and other inappropriate spots. Shut-ins ventured outside. Depressed people went for walks and felt better. All sorts of things happened. This was not just a hit game, but a social phenomenon. Granted, there are still problems to be worked out. All the same, we witnessed an example of entertainment transforming the world. (YONEMITSU Kazunari)