Update: To better quantify Pokemon GO's early success, the researchers at SuperData have estimated that the title "so far managed to generate $14.04 million across mobile platforms since its release, putting it ahead of other titles using the franchise, including Pokémon Shuffle Mobile which has earned an estimated $14.03 million since its release in August, 2015."
SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen added, "The initial audience response is more telling of the increasingly lethargic mobile games market: with its growth slowing, it takes an established franchise like Pokémon for the numbers to suddenly, and likely briefly, flutter before reestablishing its previous equilibrium. Given the current of user acquisition in the mobile games market on iOS ($4.01 in May 2016, up 2.3% YoY) and Android ($3.40, 3% YoY), many industry participants seek to leverage established franchises and brands to offset marketing expense.
"What will be critical is the coming period: can Pokemon GO! keep its momentum and cultivate a loyal following. Just like every other mobile game it will have to face the retention figures after 7, 30, and 90 days. Chances are we are looking at the mobile games' equivalent of a summer hit song rather than a revolution in the mobile game monarchy."
Pokemon GO has delivered exactly the kind of success Nintendo anticipated when it first announced its move into mobile. Niantic Labs' wildly popular game is at the summit of the top-grossing and download charts on both iOS and Android in the US, and other significant metrics are challenging those of apps like Twitter and Whatsapp.
Right now, Pokemon GO is only available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand; a conservative launch schedule that hasn't proved to be conservative enough. Speaking to Business Insider, Niantic CEO John Hanke said that the next phase of the global rollout - which includes European territories like the UK and the Netherlands - has been put on hold until technical issues related to server capacity have been fixed.
And given the game's current level of performance Nintendo and its shareholders will be content to wait. At the start of the day's trading on Thursday July 7, the day after Pokemon GO started its rollout, Nintendo's stock was trading at around ¥14,400. The following day, the market opened at more than ¥16,000. At the time of writing, Nintendo's share price is at ¥20,260 - an increase of 40% since Thursday last week.
That boost has a strong foundation. According to data released by SimilarWeb, Pokemon GO had been installed on more than 5 per cent of all Android devices in the US on July 8, two days after launch. More than 60% of those installs have resulted in daily use, meaning that, as of last Friday, Pokemon GO was rivalling Twitter for DAUs on Android in the US.
"In a few more days, Pokémon GO will likely have more users Daily Active Users than the well-established social network," SimilarWeb stated. And it is consuming more of its players' time than a host of social networking apps: 43 minutes, 23 seconds on average, which is higher than Whatsapp, Snapchat and Messenger.