SurveyMonkey has just confirmed what many have already suspected -- Pokémon GO is the biggest mobile game in history. Pokémon GO has dethroned Candy Crush, the long-reigning king of mobile gaming which, at its peak, had twenty million active gamers. Pokémon GO currently has more than twenty-one million active users in the United States.
Within twenty-four hours of its release, Pokémon GO beat out indie hit Slither.io and Supercell’s heavily promoted blockbuster Clash Royale. Yesterday we reported that iPhone users were spending more time on Pokémon GO than on social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. During the next few days, Pokémon GO for Android could even surpass Google Maps itself as the largest user of Alphabet’s mapping data.
Some caution that it is still too early to declare Pokémon GO a complete slam dunk for Nintendo. While Niantic may roll in the dough, Nintendo only has a minority stake in the game. Nintendo’s last mobile game Miitomo was initially very popular, but struggled to keep users interested. Since Miitomo was a social game, the fewer people who played it meant that there was less initiative overall to engage in it.
A similar situation occurred in 2012 with the widely-anticipated game Draw Something. Thirty-five million people downloaded the game during the first seven weeks of its release. The users dropped like flies, however, following the game’s initial success. Some speculate that there were simply too few upgrades and that fans became bored.
One thing Pokémon GO has going for it however, is nostalgia. The franchise began as a pair of video games for the original Game Boy in 1996. These video games soon spawned card games, television shows, and even movies which, in the last twenty years, have grossed $42.6 billion USD worldwide. This means that Pokémon was a huge part of the childhood of many millennials. If there is one thing we know, 90’s kids are huge suckers for nostalgia.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe there is a Krabby in my neighbor’s backyard.