Are You Obsessed with Pokémon Go Yet?
Have you been spending hours visiting all the Poke Stops in your area, hunting for the rarest Pokémon you can find? It may not be as timeless as a Pac-Man arcade table, but Pokémon Go is taking mobile gaming to a whole new level. Start Walking to ‘Catch ‘Em All’ In case you haven’t had the time to download the current number one app in the world yet, Pokémon Go uses a mobile phone’s GPS signal and camera to allow users to travel the physical world, capture Pokémon characters and battle other users. Walking around causes eggs to hatch, birthing new characters, but first the user has to walk either two, five or 10 kilometers. The game has had an immediate effect on society, causing thousands upon thousands of users to get outside and start walking, since exercise is central to success in the game. It’s also caused one user to find a dead body while searching for Pokémon along a river in central Wyoming, and given thieves the opportunity to lure gamers into a trap and rob them. The Popularity of Pokémon Go – Look at the Numbers Even though Nintendo’s stock had dropped by almost 50 percent in the last year, the release of the app changed that. Following the July 6 release of Pokémon Go, Nintendo’s market value had jumped to $7 billion by Sunday, July 10. Though no official numbers have been released, the game is accruing an estimated $1.6 million in daily ad revenue. So far, an estimated 7.5 million people have downloaded the game in the U.S. And the worldwide release hasn’t even happened yet. Typically, when games catch on this quick, they stay popular for a time, then the fire dies down. Even if this is the case for Pokémon Go, it’s bound to shift the focus for many mobile game developers. Augmented reality, the merging of the physical and digital worlds, is clearly a draw for current mobile gamers. It doesn’t hurt that in Pokémon Go’s case, the nostalgia of the game that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s appeals to many of the millennial generation at this moment. How will mobile game developers follow this explosive trend? If the numbers reveal anything, they show that more augmented reality mobile games are sure to come.