Pokémon Go: Bringing People and Businesses Together
It’s a fact that the app market is a billion-dollar industry, and there are hundreds of apps coming out every day looking to cash in. But none have made quite as much of a splash as Pokémon Go.
With having earned 22.4 million in the first fourteen days of it being released and now estimated to be worth $29 billion, according to moneynation.com, Pokémon Go is an interactive app based on the monster collecting game created in the ‘90s and has now become a huge franchise and business with stuffed animals, a card game, multiple videogames as well as computer games. The app, now used more than twitter, hit the top of the app store instantly and became the highest grossing app incredibly fast.
While it is extremely popular, many people who don’t play or don’t “get” the game, still have a general understanding because they have seen people all over cities and towns walking around trying to “catch ‘em all.” The way the game works is when the app is opened it finds where you are via GPS. It then generates a map with different places and spots that coincide with real locations on the map, some spots called Gyms or “Pokestops.” It also generates Pokémon spawn points around the area, which is a point on the map where Pokémon appear, accompanied with a small radar that tells you what is near or far.
Since each Gym or Pokestop is a physical place that can be visited by the person playing, players have to physically walk or drive to a destination in order to get the Pokémon. Gyms are where people will “leave” their strongest Pokémon to battle each other and gain benefits for keeping the Gym for their team. Though traveling around is the best way to catch Pokémon, you need items in order to catch them.
While Pokémon Go is a free-to-play game, the game makes money for the developer and gets people out in the world, but one aspect of the game that some business owners are capitalizing on is that has the potential to bring people to their businesses.
To drive the Pokémon crowd to their doors, the savvier businesses are spending a couple dollars to put certain aspects of the game, like a Pokestop, housed at their business to get people in the doors. Some businesses will give you a discount for catching a Pokémon at their place and sharing it on their Facebook.
A common practice in the game is to hang out at a restaurant or bar that has a Pokestop, to have it give them free items every five minutes and to lure Pokémon to themselves. Many groups of people travel together and let others know through word of mouth where to catch Pokémon.
This app has become more than just a game, as there are many gamers out there that wouldn’t formerly have been out walking around. This population, a fairly large one at that, is now socializing more and discovering their city. It’s an interesting, and unique case, of a video game bringing people together and driving more business to local businesses.