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Pokemon GO's launch was an unqualified success - almost

UPDATE: SuperData estimates that the game has generated $14.04 million across mobile platforms since its release

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."

Original story

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 Ą14,400. The following day, the market opened at more than Ą16,000. At the time of writing, Nintendo's share price is at Ą20,260 - 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.

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Latest comments (15)

Gotta catch em all...
be curious to see the in app monetization data
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 3 years ago
who cares about charging the players? At that rate Nintendo will charge McDonald's and others for the privilege of having a guaranteed catching spots with daily rotating Pokemon.

what was the name of that mobile app which catches high frequency signals in advertisements on TV? SilverPush? Imagine using that for positive reinforcement. Whenever the user hears a certain advertisement jingle, the app on the phone rewards the player with ingame resources.

This could get way more dark than getting robbed, without anybody ever paying a penny.
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada3 years ago
@Klaus - Or they could do both, and buy their own planet ;)
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Show all comments (15)
Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes3 years ago
The server debacle seems to have been happily overlooked, it took me three days to activate an account, finally it let me in even though I hadn't managed to get into the authentication website, now it's logged me out and is telling me I need to authenticate the account and of course I can't because the site can't handle the load or anything close to it. Very fortunate the IP let's them get away with murder, any normal rollout and this would have been panned to hell.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Browne on 11th July 2016 5:59pm

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Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia3 years ago
Very fortunate the IP let's them get away with murder, any normal rollout and this would have been panned to hell.
I was thinking about that right now. Nintendo fans are everywhere, including writing our day-to-day news stories.
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Anthony Chan3 years ago
The server debacle seems to have been happily overlooked, it took me three days to activate an account, finally it let me in even though I hadn't managed to get into the authentication website, now it's logged me out and is telling me I need to authenticate the account and of course I can't because the site can't handle the load or anything close to it. Very fortunate the IP let's them get away with murder, any normal rollout and this would have been panned to hell.
Do you mind me asking where you are logging in from? I can't validate the process you are describing for logging in? I admit the servers have definitely been a bit wonky but I assume that is because of the load of simply so many people worldwide accessing the app through 'unofficial' means. I assume you might be too?
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Anthony Chan3 years ago
Gotta catch em all...
be curious to see the in app monetization data
The monetization is not bad actually, however I am fortunate to live in an area that has tons of interactive nodes/POI to keep me busy. I have read that people who live in rural areas or regions that have not had as intense an uptake in their other game Ingress, are suffering from a lack of nodes/POI. However I think these will all pan out.

The premium currency can only be attained for free via one method (capturing and holding of gyms). Fortunately, there are not many reasons to spend money unless you run out of items (such as pokeballs). The purchasable items seem to be extremely balanced in the sense you do not have a blinding urge to buy them. The only other item which may be useful is extra slots (for pokemon and items) which they are already quite generous to begin with.

As for what the currency cannot do (and for that I applaud them for): buy specific pokemon, buy direct chances at random pokemon (i.e. gacha system), buy energy (no such game limiter in place), and buy power (i.e. stat boosts, pokemon power leveling, etc).

So hats off to the people at Niantic for creating a game that definitely has captured the casual trainer's mind. I think their rollout was a bit too conservative, but if they were following along the Reddit (Facebook, Twitter, Imgur) outcries from the beta testers as a gauge for receptiveness, I can understand why the sentiment was so shaky.


EDIT: I forgot to mention, the sale of the GO+ may be something that Nintendo is banking on (they love their hardware!) : https://www.ebgames.ca/Toys-Collectibles/Games/724455 ... The price I think is a bit steep to have 100% saturation, however I think I will get one considering I realize what we all look like standing in front of a 'PokeStop'. I would rather be able to perform simple actions when notified as I pass a node, rather than looking foolish by navigating and walking through my phone!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Anthony Chan on 11th July 2016 8:38pm

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Casey Anderson Game Data Analyst, Big Fish Games3 years ago
Very fortunate the IP let's them get away with murder, any normal rollout and this would have been panned to hell.
Although, this is probably a chicken and egg problem, under estimating the IP's appeal is probably what lead to the rollout issues in the first place.
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes3 years ago
Hi Anthony - California, Los Angeles. I received an email when creating a trainer account and when I click the email verification button on the Pokemon Customer Service I go to the same old "With the exciting launch of Pokémon GO, there’s an overwhelming demand for new Pokémon Trainer Club accounts. Our team is hard at work improving the sign-up process. Until the work is complete, for a brief time, we’ll be limiting the number of new accounts that can be created simultaneously. If you’re unable to create an account at this time, please try again in an hour." ; been seeing this screen since day one of trying to install.
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada3 years ago
I don't think it's the IP that's letting them get away with poor server stability, it's that the servers are poor due to the crushing mass of people engaged. The privacy concerns (the app gets a LOT of access to Google information, including email) is something that seems like it should be a bigger deal, but is easily being overlooked.

I'm playing in Canada, so if the servers are rubbish, well, I'm not even supposed to be able to play yet, so I'm hardly going to complain ;)
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Bjorn Larsson CEO/EP/CD, Legendo Entertainment3 years ago
Pokemon GO does REALITY, not VIRTUAL REALITY. Maybe that's why.
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Anthony Chan3 years ago
@Richard Ah! you are creating a Pokemon trainer account... FYI on a good day (without the GO madness) that system run by Nintendo and TPC is horrible. That account is also meant for 3DS Pokemon owners to register for tournament events in the cart games. I guess signing in with Google is not an option? I have been connected to a google account specifically created for gaming and it works fine (from Canada).

However, the state of the servers is another story.. though I am sure that is because of users like me!
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First off I would congratulate Nintendo and their operation The Pokemon Company for a wonderful launch and advance concept.

But (you knew there would have to be one!) a can of worms seems to have been opened with the launch of Pokemon GO!
Let's just touch on some of the current issues of note:

- Trespass laws being enacted over incursions by players
- Location and Personal data usage loophole revealed
- Infringing on property usage by virtual game
and finally... - Claims of personal injury caused while using game

This final one brings back memories of the Wii Mote legal actions that dented the success of the console release.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 3 years ago
When the German paper Die Zeit ran an article about Niantic's other AR game Ingress being played at concentration camps, the company was quick to delete the nodes. But allegedly you can currently play Pokemon Go at Auschwitz, which means any filtering of locations is a reaction to outrage and no preventive measure. I guess it will be only a matter of time until an American network will run Pokestops against databases of registered sex offenders and drag them in front of the camera for a $50 confessional take in the dark with distorted voice.

Apart from the press playing with the fear of people, the real interesting question is that of property. Does Pokemon Go infringe on my property rights, when Pokestops are placed on my property? Who owns the AR extension of the real world?
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes3 years ago
Yeah I didn't want to login with Google because of the rather nasty overreach on the permissions side. They've seemingly fixed that now so hi-ho hi-ho its off to Pokemon Go!
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