We dissect the huge success that is Pokemon Go and offer our predictions for what might come next
If you haven’t heard about Pokemon Go yet, where’ve you been? It’s the latest app from Nintendo that lets players catch Pokemon in the real world, and it is taking the globe by storm.
The app is released in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and becomes the top app on the American app store within 5 hours.
The instant success of the game causes Nintendo’s share price to jump 10%, as investors start to believe that the company’s shift to mobile gaming is already paying off.
Pokemon Go is now installed on more than 5% of Android phones in the US, more than Tinder.
The game now has more daily active users than Twitter, a social network which has been around for a decade.
Nintendo’s stock continues to skyrocket, with $9bn being added to their market value since PoGo’s release.
Pokemon Go players are now spending on average 33 minutes a day within the app, beating Facebook’s 22 minutes, and Snapchat’s 18.
Overall downloads for the game cross 15 million.
Despite the app being just over a week old – and already making the developers a reported $1.6m daily from iOS alone via in-app purchases – many are deliberating how the game can create extra revenue streams for Nintendo and the developers.
The app is unique in that it is doing what very few apps can do – drive actual footfall.
Dedicated players physically flock to real-world locations in hopes of catching a rare Pokemon, or to virtual ‘Gyms’ and ‘Pokestops’ to battle other players and stock up on Pokeballs.
These locations are sourced from places of interest on Google Maps, with some businesses having their Google Places listing appear as a Pokestop within the game. Many business owners have already taken advantage of their Pokestop status and informally jumped on the bandwagon by tempting PoGo players inside with a discount. Herein lies the area where Pokemon Go is certain to venture into: sponsored locations.
Nintendo and Niantic will soon enough be offering business owners the opportunity to have their location appear as a Gym or Pokestop within the game, and potentially have rare Pokemon hover around their establishment, attracting players and increasing footfall. All of this will come at a cost of course, but what has not been revealed is whether the marketing opportunities within Pokemon Go will be open to businesses of all sizes.
A self-serve system similar to that of Snapchat’s On-Demand Geofilters would be sure to attract small businesses in droves: Set your location, choose your time period, select your features and pay using your debit card, all from within a webpage.
However, Nintendo could potentially limit the sponsored locations to global brands, setting large minimum spends. A big-brand partnership strategy might be Pokemon Go’s best option if it wants to guarantee long-term growth. Teaming up with a brand such as McDonalds (our prediction for the first partnership) will not only drive real world traffic to the restaurants, but will also expose current McDonalds customers to the game through the inevitable in-store promotions. A win win for both brands.
But while we wait and see which direction Nintendo and Niantic takes to prolong the life of this latest craze, increasing revenues and further enhancing its offering for brands and players alike, I’m off to catch my next Pokemon. Gotta catch ‘em all!
Senior Online Marketing Manager