Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32020
Analysis of Transmedia Storytelling in Pokémon GO

Authors: Iva Nedelcheva


This study is part of a doctoral thesis on the topic of Hyperfiction: Past, Present and Future of Storytelling through Hypertext. It explores in depth the impact of transmedia storytelling and the role of hypertext in the realm of the currently popular social media phenomenon Pokémon GO. Storytelling is a powerful method to engage and unite people. Moreover, the technology progress adds a whole new angle to the method, with hypertext and cross-platform sharing that enhance the traditional storytelling so much that transmedia storytelling gives unlimited opportunities to affect the everyday life of people across the globe. This research aims at examining the transmedia storytelling approach in Pokémon GO, and explaining how that contributed to its establishment as a massive worldwide hit in less than a week. The social engagement is investigated in all major media platforms, including traditional and online media channels. Observation and content analyses are reported in this paper to form the conclusion that transmedia storytelling with the input of hypertext has a promising future as a method of establishing a productive and rewarding communication strategy.

Keywords: Communication, hypertext, Pokémon GO, storytelling, transmedia.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 3522


[1] A. Vidal, “You ‘Gotta Catch’ Pokémon’s storytelling strategy: Pokémon Go is all about storytelling, not technology.” July 2016. Retrieved fromémon-s-storytelling-strategy
[2] C. Smith, Pokémon Go statistics. September 2016. Retrieved fromémon -go-statistics/
[3] Transmedia Journalism, October 2016. Retrieved from
[4] D. Johnson, A history of transmedia entertainment. Retrieved from - V-_FwzvAfdk
[5] M. Kinder, 1993. Playing with power in movies, television, and video games: from Muppet babies to teenage mutant ninja turtles. Berkeley: U of California. Print.
[6] An Interview with Stephen E. Dinehart IV: Gamification Can Create Sticky and Engaging Experiences that Produce Real Meaning, 2016. Retrieved from
[7] C.A. Scolari, Transmedia Storytelling: Implicit Consumers, Narrative Worlds, and Branding in Contemporary Media Production, International Journal of Communication, Vol. 3, 2009.
[8] M. Giavagnoli, Transmedia Storytelling: Imagery, Shapes and Techniques, ETC Press, 2011. Retrieved from
[9] E. Evans, Transmedia Television: Audiences, New Media, and Daily Life, Routledge, 2011. Print.
[10] C. Harvey, Fantastic Transmedia: Narrative, Play and Memory Across Science Fiction and Fantasy Storyworlds, Springer, 2015. Print.
[11] R. Pratten, Transmedia Storyteller, online blog. Retrieved from
[12] K. Moloney, Transmedia Journalism, online blog. Retrieved from
[13] A. Phillips, A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences Across Multiple Platforms, McGraw-Hill Education, 2012. Print.
[14] P. Rutledge, The Media Psychology Blog. Retrieved from
[15] D. Sheff, Nintendo isn't playing games, December 1990. San Francisco Chronicle, "The World" sec., 8-9
[16] E. Gürel, O. Tığlı, 2014. New world created by social media: transmedia storytelling, Journal of Media Critiques (JMC) Special Issue 1 P-ISSN: 2056-9785 E-ISSN: 2056 9793.
[17] Indiegogo campaign launched to fund ‘Realistic Pokémon: concept fan art. Business Press24. Retrieved fromémon -concept-fan-art.html
[18] M. Madnani, 2016. A brief history of Pokémon. Retrieved from
[19] Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia, List of Pokémon Adventures volumes. Retrieved fromémon_Adventures_volumes
[20] H. Jenkins, January 2003. Transmedia storytelling -moving characters from books to films to video games can make them stronger and more compelling. Retrieved from
[21] J. Bainbridge, 2014. “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” Pokémon, cultural practice and object networks. The IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies Volume I – Issue I – Winter 2014.
[22] H. Jenkins, December 2009. The Revenge of the Origami unicorn: seven principles of transmedia storytelling. Futures of Entertainment blog. Retrieved from
[23] Z, Okan, 2003. Edutainment: is learning at risk? British Journal of Educational Technology. Vol 34, No 3, p. 255–264. Print.
[24] A. Allison, 2006. Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination. P.197-205. University of California Press.
[25] "Pokémania": 1999 MSNBC Pokémon news report. Retrieved fromémon -news-report_tech
[26] Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia. Pokémon world in relation to the real world. Retrieved fromémon_world_in_relation_to_the_real_world
[27] L. Finnegan, February 2016. How Pokémon became a pop culture sensation in America. Retrieved fromémon -Became-a-Lasting-Pop-Culture-Phenomenon-in-America
[28] R. Pratten, December 2010. What is pervasive entertainment. Retrieved from
[29] F. Pires de Sá, 2013-2014. The co-viewing experience in the age of transmedia storytelling. Research projects of the Postgraduate Programs of Department of Communication of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
[30] L. Bosshart, L. Hellmüller, 2009. Pervasive entertainment, ubiquitous entertainment. Communication Research Trends, Volume 28, Number 2.
[31] H. Jenkins, 2012. Engagement, participation, play: the value and meaning of transmedia audiences. Retrieved from
[32] R. Sukraj, July 2016. 18 Brands trying to Catch ‘Em All with Pokémon Go newsjacking. Retrieved fromémon -go-newsjacking-marketing
[33] P. Rutledge, 2016. Transmedia Storytelling – Brands, Ideas, Organizations and Advocacy. Retrieved from
[34] J. Thibeault, 2013. Is Transmedia Storytelling the New Digital Marketing? Retrieved from
[35] A. Fitzpatrick, July 2016. How ‘Pokémon Go’ took over the world. Time Magazine. Retrieved fromémon -go-iphone-android-nintendo/
[36] Sensor Tower Blog, July, 2016émon -go-usage-data
[37] Daily Mail, July, 2016
[38] World Cloud Generator, October 2016. Retrieved from
[39] A. Kaufman, July 2016. Pokémon GO: The very best, like no game ever was. Retrieved fromémon -go-the-very-best-like-no-game-ever-was/
[40] M. Morrison, July 2016. Pokémon Go goes viral with no big marketing blitz. Ad Age. Retrieved fromémon -go-viral-marketing/304905/
[41] A. Hern, July 2016. Pokémon Go: how the overnight sensation was 20 years in the making. The Guardian. Retrieved fromémon -go-instant-global-phenomenon-nintendo-augmented-reality-gaming
[42] D. Thieke, June 2016. Pokémon Go and the virtual future of storytelling. Retrieved fromémon -go-virtual-future-storytelling/
[43] D. Fung, July 2016. Pokémon GO — a look into the future of online to offline (O2O) marketing. Retrieved fromémon-go-a-look-into-the-future-of-online-to-offline-o2o-marketing-4a55835f06f1#.wu4ta9nxs
[44] R. Pratten, August 2016. What if you added a story to Pokémon Go. Video interview. Retrieved fromémon -go.html
[45] S. Needleman, September 2016. ‘Pokémon Go’ ends its reign at No. 1. The Wallstreet Journal. Retrieved fromémon -go-ends-its-reign-at-no-1-1474484627
[46] Analysis of Pokémon Go: a success two decades in the making. September 2016. Retrieved fromémon -go/
[47] How to ride the 'Pokémon GO' wave to business success. July 2016. Forbes. Retrieved fromémon -wave-to-business-success/#4df218920634
[48] M. Snyder, July 2016. Is Pokémon Go evil, dangerous or demonic? Retrieved fromémon -go-evil-dangerous-or-demonic
[49] A. Frank, October 2016, Pokémon Go users have taken more than 100 billion steps, study estimates. Retrieved fromémon -go-steps-physical-activity-study
[50] B. Joseph, July 2016. The Secret sauce in Pokémon Go: big data. Retrieved fromémon -go/
[51] Pokémon Go gets political. Retrieved fromémon -go-gets-political
[52] B. Lee, July 2016. Pokémon Go movie ready to be caught. The Guardian. Retrieved fromémon -go-movie-legendary-pictures
[53] YouTube vlogs like MoreAliA and Game Theorists
[54] J.C. Wong, July 2016. The world's largest Pokémon Go gathering hits the streets of San Francisco. The Guardian. Retrieved fromémon -go-gathering-san-francisco
[55] App Institute Data, October 2016. Retrieved fromémon go-realtime-stats/
[56] R. Pratten, April 2015. Where next for reality? Retrieved from
[57] S. Benford, C. Magerkurth, P. Ljungstrand, March 2005. Bridging the physical and digital in pervasive gaming. Communications of the ACM, vol. 48, pp. 54-57.
[58] C. Dena, 2009. Transmedia Practice: theorising the practice of expressing a fictional world across distinct media and environments. Retrieved from
[59] R. Hoving, June 2014. On-Demand narrative: database logic as part of the poetics of transmedia storytelling. Master Thesis. Retrieved from;c=uvascript;lang=en;type=simple;rgn1=keyword;q1=Transmedia%20storytelling;sort=publicationyear;cc=uvascript;view=reslist;fmt=long;page=reslist;start=1;size=1
[60] M. Alexenberg, 2011. Author’s Note for postdigital edition of The Future of art in a digital age: from Hellenistic to Hebraic consciousness. Retrieved from
[61] M. Weinberger, July 2016. The CEO behind 'Pokémon Go' explains why it's become such a phenomenon. Business Insider. Retrieved fromémon -go-niantic-john-hanke-interview-2016-7
[62] Business of Apps Stats, August 2016. Retrieved fromémon -go-usage-revenue-statistics/