While walking around any neighbourhood, did you notice herd of people wandering around the streets staring at their cell phones? What exactly are these people chasing in their phones? For those who don’t know yet, it is a new fandom set for Pokemon-Go, a digital creation in real world.
Pokémon GO not only uses your phone’s GPS and camera to turn the real world into a massive hunting ground for the iconic creatures, but also transforms local landmarks and businesses into Pokémon Gyms (where trainers go to train their Pokémon and battle other teams) and PokéStops, where players can physically visit to stock up on free accessories and items like PokeBalls.Seemingly everyone is playing Pokémon GO. If you’re not already playing it yourself, you’ve no doubt at least heard about it. The Pokémon Company is having an enormous impact on people’s daily routines. We as a species of obsessed Pokémon Trainers are trying to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Augmented reality for gaming is not a new idea. Almost four years ago, Google had launched its own location-based augmented reality game called Ingress. Ingress was developed by an internal Google start up called Niantic. Niantic Labs took their Ingress experience and found a new partner in Nintendo to develop Pokémon Go. Pokémon Go is more of pocket monsters and less sci-fi, but no one can argue with their success. The technology is so good that it begins to convince your brain that the virtual elements are part of your reality—and this is when things get really interesting. Virtual and augmented reality are two ends of the same spectrum that will end up converging in the middle. Differentiating one from the other depends entirely upon how much of your reality you replace with virtual elements. What’s interesting is that once we can modify our reality at our will, how we consume, create, and interact with information is limited only by our imaginations.Users all over the world are realizing the compelling capabilities of augmented reality as they chase virtual monsters over the physical landscape.
Seriously, Pokémon GO hasn’t even launched globally and it is recorded that within 48 hours of its launch, Pokémon Go was installed on 5.6% of android devices in the United States. This is the data scraped from Android, and it likely includes a larger number of people outside the launched regions installing it “Unofficially” via an APK file. It’s currently only officially available in the US, New Zealand, and Australia. It is been observed that Pokémon Go servers went down after the game launched in Canada. Niantic Labs has actually paused their global rollout due to overwhelming demands placed on their servers.
These are amazing statistics, but informal evidence seems to back up the game’s popularity. Is your Facebook feed overrun with posts about Pokemon GO?Probably it is. Did you notice that the game is #1 on the Google Play store, toppling such a huge platform as Facebook, snap chat, and Instagram?An average user is spending twice the amount of time engaged with Pokemon GO than they are on apps like Snap chat.
Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm, with some players becoming so addicted to the game that they’ve nearly lost their jobs by playing. It is being said that some players have decided that the game is so much fun that they’ve quit their job entirely to focus on playing it. There was a Pokemon GO player who unknowingly walked into a police station in search of a Pokemon gym, only to be quickly arrested due to an outstanding warrant. One teenage girl was hit by a car when trying to return home after a night of playing Pokemon GO, and two men from California accidentally fell off a cliff in search of the intangible pocket monsters as well. Many such incidents of shocking discoveries, workplace troubles, and dangerous situations are taking place.
The Survey Monkey reported that Pokemon – Go reached its daily active users to 21 million in the US region. This surpassed Candy Crush saga and Twitter. Pokemon success is though considered having a negative impact on social and gaming platform. But on the other hand it also resulted in the higher engagement on social networks, for example: Facebook and twitter feeds.
Though the companies behind the game, Niantic Labs, Nintendo, and Pokémon Co. have not done too much Poke-marketing, aside from promotional trailer back in September 2015, the game is a prime example of the potential for organic growth within the mobile media market. People have been drawn to the game through word-of- mouth, but most of the popularity can be attribute to what they’ve seen on social media and through messaging apps like Snapchat, Facebook and twitter.
Within 24 hours of its release, Pokemon shoot to the top of App Store to become the biggest game of 2016, as measured by its daily users. It is estimated that Pokémon – Go will likely have more daily active users than the well-established social networks. It has an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds a day, which is higher than Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger. It is real world gaming platform changing the way people interact with the world. With its rapid growth chart, Pokemon Go is on the track to even surpass Snapchat and Google Maps. Within a week time, Nintendo’s Market value has risen up to $14 billion.It’s not clear how long players will remain fascinated by Pokémon Go. But as with all this overnight successes, this is another phenomenon that has managed to tap into some fundamental desire shared by many.