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Pokemon Go turns one today, No Pikachu were harmed in the making of this photo, Not even close: According to developer Niantic, 65 million people play the game each month, To put that in perspective: Uber has only 40 million monthly active users, All of Blizzard's hit games -- World of Warcraft, Overwatch, vintage scientific insect butterfly moth biological hand drawn species art illustration iphone case Hearthstone, Diablo, StarCraft and all the rest -- only add up to 41 million monthly users combined, You have to look at the most popular games in the world, like League of Legends (100 million), or apps as popular as Pandora (77 million) and Spotify (140 million) to understand Pokemon Go's sheer scale..
We've been following Hanke for a long time. Back in 2008, when this photo was taken, he was running Google Earth, Maps, and Street View. Later, he created Ingress. So for Pokemon Go's one-year anniversary, we thought we'd speak to the man at the eye of the storm: John Hanke, the founder and CEO of developer Niantic. Here's an edited transcript of our brief interview. What was the moment you knew you'd made it -- that Pokemon Go was going to be a sensation?. Hanke: We'd just launched in.. gosh, a few countries.. and I had to go to Japan in the middle of our rollout. I was in Japan with my oldest son who was going away for college, and we'd just gone down to Kyoto for a little detour before an Ingress event in Tokyo that was going to happen over the upcoming weekend.
You know, Kyoto's a really beautiful, but kind of a quiet, spiritual place, We were visiting these Buddhist temples and this forest., and I start getting these texts from my wife, She sent me this thing that had shown up vintage scientific insect butterfly moth biological hand drawn species art illustration iphone case on the Colbert Report and on Jimmy Fallon, and of course tweets from famous people and athletes and things like that, For me it was just this weird moment, because I was in this quiet place, and here was this crazy thing that I couldn't quite understand, I didn't have a good internet connection, and I was trying not to -- I was just trying to take a break for a few days to spend some time with my son, So I was getting these scattershot news updates, and it was just one of those "holy crap" moments..
There's this sense out there that Pokemon Go was a flash in the pan, because to an ordinary person it doesn't seem anywhere near as popular now. But I understand it's still big and profitable. Can you help explain the discrepancy?. Hanke: I don't think any game in history had that sort of global pop culture moment in the way Pokemon Go did. The way it's spread globally so quickly in a short spread of time -- it's a very high standard to say "Oh, it's not as popular now as it was in July or August of 2016."We definitely went through that period where people said "Oh there aren't mobs of people in Central Park every day like there were in July and August, obviously nobody's playing Pokemon Go anymore."That sort of.. pop culture awareness goal passed, and then the really successful game phase kicked in.