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What's Childhood Nostalgia Worth? US$7.1 Billion, According To Nintendo

What started out as an April’s Fool prank back in 2013 is now on the fast track to becoming the fastest growing Android app ever.

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Image Credits: tech.co

1 April 2013 has got to be the most memorable April Fool’s surprise Google pulled on everyone thus far. User of Google Maps that day got a (pleasant?) surprise, when they see that the map has been littered with Pokémon. Little do they know that this was merely the start of something much larger.

The Dawn Of Pokémon GO

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It was the 6th of July and Niantic decided to quietly let something loose, and oh boy did the world react.

As news broke out that Pokémon GO has officially been released, albeit only in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, fans went crazy and there was a mad scramble by everyone who wanna to be the very best, that no one ever was.

That didn’t stop savvy Android users from elsewhere around the world though, as they found a way to circumvent the country limitations as they had managed to get their hands on the installer file, or APKs, for the app.

While that seemed like a good idea at first, reality was quickly rained down on users who went this route, as Niantic, the developers of the Pokémon GO game, were quick to deny access to those outside the released markets.

Then also came the fear installing infected APKs and also the possibility of getting banned from the game, as demonstrated by Niantic’s previous foray into a similar genre, Ingress.

Unstoppable Growth

While the game may have only been officially released in just three countries, don’t let that minuscule number fool you.

Web analytics provider SimilarWeb recently gave an insight to the monstrous numbers that Pokémon GO has amassed in less than a week since its release.

Let’s take a look at them.

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Image Credits: SimilarWeb

Here it is versus Tinder in a head-to-head battle of app installations.

I mean, who gives a shit about dating apps nowadays right? There’s no time for love or hookups when we are merely Pokémon Masters-to-be.

Tinder itself has been stagnating on its growth from the looks of it, so I am guessing that people are starting to swipe left on it.

Picture this, Pokémon GO was already installed on 5.16% of all Android devices in the US by 8th July, just two days after its release.

Image Credits: SimilarWeb
Image Credits: SimilarWeb

Speaking of apps that people just don’t care much for anymore, here’s Twitter.

While Pokémon GO has yet to pass it, the game is clearly on a warpath to match, and definitely exceed, Twitter’s daily active users, while already smashing app engagement numbers.

“Over 60% of those who have downloaded the app in the US are using it daily, meaning around 3% of the entire US Android population are users of the app.”

Given a extra few days, this game will surpass many major well-established social networks.

Image Credits: SimilarWeb
Image Credits: SimilarWeb

Since we’re on the topic of social networks, this chart pretty much sums up the entire situation.

“As of July 8th, the app was being used for an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds a day, higher than Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger.”

Nintendo Is Making Big Bucks

The biggest winner from the release of Pokémon GO, though, is definitely Nintendo.

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Image Credits: Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo’s shares surged from Friday; and today, maxing out the daily limit of 25% in Tokyo, lifted the gaming company’s market value by ¥718 billion, or US$7.1 billion.

This was the highest ever jump for Nintendo since it began trading in Tokyo in 1983, as Pokémon GO races to the top of the Play Store and App Store in the available countries.

Short-Lived Happiness In Singapore

In Singapore, those that have managed to install the app by the sideloading method got to enjoy some 24 hours of Pokémon catching, and it definitely was good while it lasted.

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Admittedly, I joined in as well. But since it was at a much later stage, I wasn’t able to experience it fully.

Those who started earlier, though, were able to do some catching of their own.

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Image Credits: Yahoo SG

Yahoo Singapore found one such individual and she managed to bag herself eight Pokémons as she wandered around her surroundings to search for these elusive digital creatures.

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For the rest though, many are still awaiting its release, and in the mean time, organised group hunts in anticipation for the official release of the game.

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Well, at least this guy got his entrepreneurial spirit on in the name of Pokémon.

There’s currently no official word from Niantic as to whether the rest of the world will get to install the app officially, and have added that their servers are currently unable to accommodate the game on a global scale as Niantic CEO, John Hanke, told Business Insider, “[any rollout to additional markets is] paused until we’re comfortable”.

 

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