Pokémon GO has been an instant global sensation, capitalizing on a combination of nostalgia, good timing, and geolocational novelty.
Pokémon GO has now become the biggest mobile game in U.S. history by nearly every measurable metric. It’s broken the record for daily active users, according to an article by SurveyMonkey, and its userbase easily surpasses other mega-popular mobile games like Clash Royale and Candy Crush Saga. It’s even outpaced Tinder in terms of number of downloads on Android devices, and currently boasts more daily active Android users than Twitter.
And these users are extremely active: as of July 11, the average iPhone user was spending more time on Pokémon GO than Facebook, according to SensorTower. Meanwhile, SimilarWeb reports that Pokémon GO currently exceeds WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger on Android devices for average daily usage time. Here are the specifics: the average U.S. Pokémon player is spending around 43 minutes per day on the app, while WhatsApp comes in at a distant second for daily usage at 30 minutes.
All these impressive statistics have yielded lucrative results for developer Niantic: Pokémon GO is currently earning millions of dollars every day.
Keys to the Game’s Success
While nobody can deny the game’s rampant popularity, it’s a bit tougher to pinpoint precisely why the game is so popular right now. The answer seems to be a combination of nostalgia and fortuitous timing. As Alex Fitzpatrick writes for Time, millennials like himself “feel considerable nostalgia for Pokémon, which had its heyday while we were middle schoolers.” Meanwhile, younger generations are discovering and getting newly hooked on the franchise. “Had this been anything other than a Pokémon game,” Fitzpatrick writes, “there’s little chance it would have caught fire the way it has.”
Fitzpatrick also speculates that, because the game requires players to physically chase after lures, the enthusiasm of its user base is more palpably visible to outsiders than would be the case with a traditional mobile app; this has drummed up curiosity and contributed to the game’s snowballing popularity. The social element of the game also accounts for part of its appeal, getting people outside and interacting with fellow trainers – it has even helped some players cope with social anxiety. Not to mention the fact that while walking around town trying to catch Pokémon, people inadvertently end up getting a fair bit of exercise in the process.
Fitzpatrick notes that the game’s summer debut has helped as well: “The summer months offer the best weather for getting out of the house and exploring on foot. School, meanwhile, is out, giving younger kids plenty of free time.” He also suggests that the app might be providing a bit of a “palliative diversion” in the midst of a summer marred by tragedy.
Pokémon GO Extends Its Reign
The game isn’t stopping with U.S. domination. While currently the game is only officially available in a few countries including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, and Italy, it’s possible to play it unofficially in other countries as well if you have a U.S. mobile account.
Niantic CEO John Hanke stated in an interview with Reuters that the game will soon be available in 200 countries and regions. App Institute allows you to track the game’s growth in real time, displaying the ever-increasing number of iOS and Android downloads, downloads per country, and the game’s total revenue since you visited the page.
Tapping into millennial nostalgia and the novelty of geolocational technology have worked to turn Pokémon GO into a global phenomenon. App developers would be wise to take note of Pokémon GO’s success; if it’s inspired you to start developing your own future gaming sensation, get started today with AppMakr’s easy-to-use DIY platform.
(Image Credit: Eduardo Woo/Flickr)
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