CANBERRA — In July 2016 the release of the augmented reality game Pokémon GO became an immediate social phenomenon, engaging tens of millions of players globally. A year later, the game had been downloaded more than 750 million times and continues today to have a strong user base.
For Niantic, the San Francisco-based software development company behind Pokémon GO, the large global audience provides an opportunity to communicate important social issues and develop change. And promoting an awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals is a social campaign it is strongly behind.
Campaigns for social change, the Pokémon way
In January Niantic built into Pokémon GO a campaign targeting attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos, encouraging world leaders to continue their focus on, and support of, the delivery of each of the 17 global goals.
In September a permanent update to the game targeted everyday gamers, allowing players to dress their avatars in a Sustainable Development Goals shirt, building awareness and support for the global goals and their impact on the world.