Pokemon Go has quickly become one of the most popular games in history. Niantic Inc. released Pokemon Go on July 6th. Within two days of its release, the game had been installed on more than 5 percent of Android phones in the United States. In less than a week, it became the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store.
Pokemon were first brought to gaming consoles by Nintendo in 1996. They were so popular that they soon moved to playing cards and animated cartoons. On April Fool Day 2014, Google released a video that mashed up Google Maps and Pokemon as a joke. The video went viral, drawing more than eighteen million views. Two years later, John Hanke, C.E.O. of Niantic, and his team turned the joke into a reality.
The game lets users catch Pokemon in the real world with their mobile phones. Users walk around the streets and in public places to catch the Pokemon. Fans like how the game gets people walking around outside instead of sitting in front of a TV hooked up to a console system The more you move around, the more creatures you find. By using the phone’s camera, users can capture an image of the location and display the Pokemon on top of it.
Players can stop by floating blue blocks called “Pokestops” to earn more Pokeballs and other items to use in the game. The geolocations for Pokestops are based on historical markers, unique businesses, and public artwork listed on geo-tagged Google photos on Google. Unlike a typical multiplayer online game that decentralized among different servers, Niantic wanted to create a single source for its game so all users get new information at the same time. This has led to a number of server issues, especially during peak playing times.
Pokemon Go is so popular that the brick-and-mortar retail world is trying to figure out how to monetize the stampede of foot traffic that Pokestops bring by their doors. Some smaller businesses are now offering deals, promotions, special events, and Lure Modules to get players into their businesses. Some are even offering Pokemon Go players a place to charge their batteries, which drain fast when playing the game. Larger retail and restaurant chains may be the next to roll out Pokemon Go promotions and Lure, giving game makers an excellent way to make vast amounts of money on the game.