Pokemon Go dev hopes game can make the world a better place

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Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs has laid out its vision and ambition for the new game–and it’s somewhat grander than what you might have thought. In a new video released today to celebrate the game’s launch in Japan, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke said he hopes Pokemon Go can “make the lives of our users better” and even “make the world a better place.”

Hanke also mentioned that Pokemon Go’s central gameplay element–leaving your home and traveling the world in search of creatures–pays homage to the first game in the series.

“When I first met Pokemon Company president and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara, we had a shared vision for the kind of game that we wanted to create together. We wanted to build a game that was true to the spirit of the original Pokemon game–a child, outside, capturing insects in the wilderness.

“We wanted to build a game that would inspire people to go outside, get exercise, discover new places, and have fun with their friends. We believe a game like this will make the lives of our users better and will make the world a better place.”

Also in the video, Hanke urged players to enjoy the world around them as they explore, but also to be mindful of their surroundings. “Keep your head up, look around, enjoy the world around you, and be safe,” he said.