The seemingly overnight success of Pokémon Go actually took one man 20 years of “leveling up” to achieve.
John Hanke, who is today the founder and CEO of Niantic Inc., began his journey to make Pokémon Go a reality when he created and sold his first online game in 1996 before starting a mapping company that would change the way people navigate with GPS forever. From there, with the help of Google and Nintendo, he would create one of the biggest mobile game phenomenons of 2016.
Roger James Hamilton, an entrepreneur and author, recently wrote a post detailing Hanke’s incredible story of the man behind Pokémon Go:
Hanke, who is responsible for increasing Nintendo’s share price by $12 billion with his “gotta catch ‘em all” game, began creating games while he was a student. Hanke later played a huge role in combining maps with aerial photography to create what we know today as “Google Earth,” “Google Maps” and “Google Street View.”
In 2014, Google and the Pokémon Company teamed up to play an April Fools’ Day joke that Hanke would later make a reality.