Chances are unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so you’ve heard a lot about the new mobile craze ‘Pokémon GO’. It has taken the world by storm, and it’s grabbed the attention of both children and adults alike. But how popular is the game? Also, where does the future lie with Pokémon GO and can it be utilized?
It’s Very, Very Popular
Millions of people are wandering around the streets trying to “catch ‘em all”. Within a week of release, Pokémon GO has attracted over 21 million users. It has just launched in Germany and hit No.1 on the iPhone revenue chart in just three hours. Across the pond, it took 13 hours to hit the top of the US charts and has penetrated a daily user level of 10.81% in just 4 days after its debut.
In other words, Pokémon go is very popular. In just its first week it had a higher daily user penetration level than Twitter. It’s the latest digital sensation and by the looks of it, it will get even bigger once it’s officially released in Canada.
Why Is It So Popular?
But the question on many people’s mind is ‘Why is this so popular? It’s just paper toss with Pokémon.’ What people don’t realize is that it’s not the game itself that is so popular – it’s the social aspect.
Pokémon GO is doing something that no Pokémon game has done before it – it’s getting people to go outside. If you haven’t quite caught up with how the game is played, it’s essentially like Google Maps infused with Pokémon. You download the game, create your character and watch as he walks around a GPS map of your city. Where ever you go, he/she goes. Inside of this GPS you’ll find Pokémon pop up when you go near them. It then transfers to an augmented reality battle where the Pokémon is right in front of you. You then toss Pokéballs at the Pokémon to catch it. Catch multiple and you’ll get ‘candies’ which allow you to evolve certain Pokémon as you collect them.
The reason the game gets so addicting is because it adds the element from previous Pokémon games of feeling the need to ‘Catch ‘Em All”. The game has 150 Pokémon to collect. As you level up, rarer Pokémon will become available to you. The only way to level up of course, is to catch more Pokémon.
Of course, with anything that becomes popular, it gains some controversy. Pokémon go has most recently made headlines for Auschwitz having to remind people it’s ‘disrespectful’ to play Pokémon GO at the former concentration camp. In another instance, Pokémon GO has been used to lure people into armed robberies. However, for the most part, people are loving the fact that this new viral app encourages exploration, and gets people active!
The Future of Pokémon GO
The best part about Pokémon GO is that there is more to come that will make it an even better experience. Soon, the app will add support for trading between players and leaderboards to see how you stack up against other players.
However, what’s even more exciting is the rumors that there will be an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the app. Businesses may be able to place gyms or certain Pokémon at their places of business. This will encourage more people to walk into their businesses, as getting people’s feet in the door – even if it’s only for Pokémon – can capture people’s attention toward the business and its offerings.
There’s some merit to these rumors. It’s been confirmed through searching through the apps code that Pokémon GO is partnering with McDonald’s. A source has said that as part of the partnership, every McDonald’s in an undisclosed country will be either a PokéStop where you can get items or a gym where you battle Pokémon. This gives merit to the rumor that other businesses will be able to do the same – if one business can do it then it opens the opportunity for others!
One way businesses have already been utilizing it for business is by using lures. Lures are an item you can receive within the game which you place on the map resulting in Pokémon being attracted to those areas. Businesses can purchase these items from the shop and place them at their business. This will get loads of foot traffic to the business and is especially effective if your target market is within the younger demographic.
Love it or hate it, Pokémon GO is here and it looks like it’ll be around for a while. The sheer popularity of the game has already made it a cultural phenomenon and with time, it’ll only get more fleshed out. It might be a good idea to start making plans on how your business can utilize Pokémon GO!
When not training to become Pokémon masters, we here at Web Geeks are focused on bettering your business through web design and digital marketing!