Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm, with an estimated 7.5m users raking in $1.6m in daily revenue. (These figures are only for the US.)
There’s a lot of scope and scalability for the future, especially when you factor in all of the markets that have yet to be able to take part. (The game is only officially available in New Zealand, Australia and the US.)
It’s bringing people together, and it seems to have captured the imagination of the general public. It also helped my friend to start enjoying his job once again, which goes to show that unintended consequences don’t always have to be negative when it comes to mobile gaming.
Let’s get started;
Since I graduated last year, I’ve become acutely aware of just how much people seem to hate their work. (Recent polls have shown that 50 per cent of US workers were thinking about a new job in January.)
It’s a key part of getting older. A number of my friends seemed to be unhappy at work, so I’d offer to have a look through their resume before they started sending off applications.
One of my oldest friends (who will remain nameless) has been struggling at work recently, so I figured that I would have to begin the process of sorting out a new CV once again.
He’s a delivery driver for a well-known food company, hired on a zero-hour contract to do five hour shifts around the streets of London. (He’s been a deliveryman for a number of companies over the years, and he does it all on a pushbike.)
He enjoys staying fit and being outside, but recently he’d been skipping shifts, and it looked like I was due to dust off the computer once more.
(You can probably see where this is going by now.)
I was speaking to him for the first time in a few weeks a couple of days ago, and he told me that Pokémon Go had transformed the way he viewed his job. It didn’t alleviate the pressures of low pay or difficult weather, but it made things way more bearable during day to day tasks.
For one, it made his job a lot more interesting. A long distance drop holds the possibility of all the different Pokémon along the way, and the sheer popularity of the app has ensured that he’ll have lots of people to play with in the coming weeks and months.
You’re sure to find anything and everything while you’re looking for a Pokestop. (A user honestly found a dead body while looking for Pokémon along a river in Wyoming.)
For most people, you’re probably not going to find anything that interesting. Even so, it gives him something to do while he waits for the information about his next drop, and it’s better than waiting around, or having a look through Facebook like he would do normally.
I caught up with him today, so I could get a better idea of his thoughts. Here’s what he had to say;
“It actually motivates me more than the money at the moment. There are times when I was struggling to get out there in the first place, but it’s a nice way for me to take a break in between deliveries.
“Obviously the money is more important, but sometimes it’s just difficult. It’s a good way to pass a few minutes, or take my mind off things.”
I asked him about the future, and how much (if any) longevity did he think the app had?
“It would be stupid to think that it’ll keep me interested forever, but I’m going to keep playing it for now. I’m going to be working anyway, so I might as well collect Pokémon while I’m doing it.
I haven’t even started battling people yet and there should be more stuff to do when it comes out properly.”
He has a point.
I suppose there’s always a chance that the bubble could burst unexpectedly, but it’s unlikely given the experience and Nintendo’s history with portable gaming. They must have plans and phases to keep content fresh, and they still have a vast array of Pokémon to draw from in reserve.
(Some are better than others, but you get the point.)
There’s a massive audience for Pokémon, that was continually refreshed as each generation of kids moved on, and the next 70-100 Pokémon suddenly made themselves known.
It means that there are lots of us out there that remember the series fondly, and that’s without counting all of the adults who were swept up in the craze along the way.
Trading is a big aspect for me personally. It would be a nice excuse to meet up with friends if it had to be done in close proximity, and Niantic have recently confirmed that a trading system will be rolled out eventually.
Pokéstops and gyms are also due for an overhaul, which is great news as they’re pretty basic at the moment. It would be nice to see more detail or things to do, while expansion of the social hub would also be useful.
(Another point is, some Pokéstop locations make no sense.)
The app is strangely addictive, even if it does need a bit of work at this stage. That’s before we’ve even touched on the battles, which add another layer of excitement and competition to the simple collection and evolution that’s on offer at the start.
My friend is currently planning to take his OP Electabuzz to the local gym to take on the Leader’s Raticate. I’m going to tag along when he does, although I have my own plans to level and use the giant Oddish I picked up earlier to crush him somewhere down the line.
I actually just want to find an Onyx, so I can pretend to be Brock!
(Everyone can dream.)
I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s part of the charm of the app. It’s strange to think that a game like this could have the capability to get me so invested after such a short period of time, but it’s a testament to its quality, and the fact is isn’t too grabby with the in-app purchases.
I’ve dropped games like Clash of Clans after a few days, but there’s something different about Pokémon Go. My friend isn’t the only one to feel the positive benefits of the game, even if there have been a few dead bodies and robberies amongst it all.
I’ve been getting to grips with the game over the last few days, and I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. It’s a fairly barebones experience overall, but there’s enough there to keep people interested for now.
As long as they keep adding features, it could pick up a lot of steam for the foreseeable future.
Nintendo’s shares have soared as a result, while Macquarie Securities noted that a lot of players have been willing to shell out the cash to speed up progress;
“It has more (monetisation) than we expected; as users build their Pokémon inventory, spending money becomes needed to store, train, hatch and battle.”
I haven’t got to the point where I’ve felt compelled to spend myself, and it’s lucky because that’s when I usually call it a day with mobile gaming.
Even so, I haven’t been this excited to walk my dog in a while, especially not while it’s raining during the middle of summer.
Nonetheless, for once it was me extending walkies in the pouring rain, as I only needed to hand in one more Pidgey to get enough candy to evolve my Pokémon. (It makes full sense in context.)
I ended up outlasting the rain, although it’s typical that I didn’t find the extra Pidgey. Then again, Pokémon can come from anywhere and everywhere, and you can even find them at home if you’re lucky. (Lures are also an expensive option.)
If you’re still waiting for Pokémon to be released in your country, you’ll just have to bide your time. For now, It’s just great to hear that the majority of people are enjoying the app, and that it’s giving people the chance to feel like more of a community.
Stories and comments like the above are reasonably regular, and it shows how Pokémon Go has the capacity to be a great thing if it’s handled correctly in the future.
Lastly, my friend and I are going to take a walk later on tonight to see if we can find any rare Pokémon. As long as we don’t get robbed on the way, it’ll be another positive thanks to Pokémon Go.
It might be because I wasn’t expecting too much, but I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen so far. If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, it’s worth a try before you pass judgement.
If you haven’t actually seen the game running, I seriously advise having a look at one of the official video:
Pokémon Go is one of the hottest mobile games I’ve seen in recent years. Everyone seems to be talking about it, and it has the chance to consolidate its place in the top ten charts for a long time if it’s handled correctly.
With the possibility of VR compatibility on the horizon, it could be around for a long time yet. The best thing is, it seems to be having a positive effect for the most part.
(Even the stereotype of a few basement dwellers dropping wads on their latest addiction has proved false, showing more of an equal spread in payments.) Unless everyone is becoming a whale?
If you haven’t tried it out yet, what are you waiting for? (Unless it hasn’t been released in your country yet, don’t flame me!) Either way, it’ll be worth the wait if you’re one of the unlucky ones, and you’ll probably end up with a fuller experience than the people currently beta testing it.
You never know. It might have a positive effect on your life as well.
How have you been getting on with Pokémon Go? Have you seen any positive changes since you started playing? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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