Why Pokemon Go Has Been Such a Huge Success

Pokemon is a topic I’ve yet to ever discuss on a blog I’ve written, but the latest game from Nintendo and Niantic – Pokemon Go – launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand this past week and has become a near-instant mobile gaming success.

When playing the game, players walk around the real world and catch Pokemon that appear in real-life views near real-life objects and locations, which are displayed using your Apple or Android phones built in camera. Go is not the first Augmented Reality mobile game to be released, but it’s definitely the most successful – in the past week, the number of Pokemon Go installations has already doubled that of mobile dating application Tinder, which is of course a monstrous success (of a very different kind!) all its own.

To date, the average time players are spending on the app in just a week is nearly 43 minutes a day, and it is estimated to surpass the number of active users on Twitter within another weeks time. In fact, as of my writing this (on Tuesday, July the 12th), the average daily usage of the Pokemon Go app has already exceeded that of Snapchat, Tinder, Instagram, and Facebook!

What makes Pokemon Go such a smash hit? Personally, I think it has to be the mixture of real life scenes, unique gameplay and a sense of location awareness not yet seen in other mobile games. Local landmarks in cities and towns across the world have been converted into gyms or “Pokestops” – spots to find supplies – and the use of in-game tools and 3rd party chat applications has brought people together in an entirely new way (think connecting over Tinder, but with Pokemon in the middle of your mutual “like-ness”).

Personally, I haven’t been a fan of the Pokemon series, Nintendo, or video games is a very long time, but I am excited to see what Go’s innovative uses of technology, location services and Augmented Reality set up will bring to future mobile application experiences, which is something that I am very excited for. Heck, I might even have to try the app out – but not until it officially launches in Canada.

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