Pokémon Go has become one the most popular mobile games in the recent times, and that too in a very short span of time. According to latest media reports, Pokémon’s DAU crossed 20 million users within a few days of its launch.
The game is surging through app store charts around the world as it has millions of users hooked on to it already. As the game reaches other countries of the world, it is yet to be seen whether it will gather steam or simply fade out.
In the past too, there have been many mobile games that have managed to create big buzz. Games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfers have managed to garner user interest all over the world, they also surged charts across app platforms, but with time they all dropped down the charts.
Candy Crush and Subway Surfers were launched in 2012. These games were however launched when smartphones were not high in demand and still managed to gain popularity. In the present times, according to App Annies India based statistics, Candy Crush makes it to the 28th spot followed by Subway Surfers at the 46th spot on the iPhone App store. On the Google Play Store, Candy Crush Jelly Saga makes it to a low of 94th spot, while Subway Surfers ranks higher at the 31st spot.
We spoke to a few experts to see what they felt about the game and if it would live up to the hype it has created around the world. This what they had to say :
Anila Andrade, Associate Vice-President, Operations, 99Games said, “Games like this take off for a reason. It’s simple, easily understandable, easy to pick up and play and moreover, with AR, very novel! It becomes a talking point – everyone today is talking about Pokémon Go (just like everyone was about Candy Crush, Subway Surfers and Temple Run etc. Those who are not aware of it are curious when others talk about it and check it out just to be a part of a conversation. I think the hype will continue to remain, and for good reason.”
Chetan Asher, Co- Founder/CEO, Tonic Media said, “By the time Pokémon Go comes to India the hype might just die down. There may be multiple clones of the game which may eventually flood the market, but the silver lining is that it will trigger an interest among marketers to use AR and location-based service for their brands. People must already be planning new templates for AR, geo tagging and other things.”
Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Mirum India feels that it will serve as a boon to the 90’s generation and the stickiness could work for brands. He said, “The world has been taken by storm with Pokémon Go. It will definitely be a huge hit in India too, while the 90’s kids would follow the game very closely and this could mean a perfect marriage. We are a large country and a following of 2-3 million people will be huge for the game, and those who will be hooked will be extremely loyal. The brand has some sort of stickiness and brands will surely be attracted to it.”
While Pokémon Go is being relished by gamers around the world, brands, advertisers and marketers are all looking forward to a new avenue in advertising and marketing of brands. Siddharth Hegde, MD, Ethinos and Arnav Ghosh, MD, Blippar India shared their views about how Pokémon Go could boost technology like AR and Geo tagging.
Hegde felt that the game may provide a much needed respite to malls and offline businesses, even if not maintaining top charts. He added, “Pokémon Go is a combination of Ingress, AR and Mobile. While gamers in India have already managed to circumvent the non-launch in India and flock to the game en masse, the community, that's really waiting to see if the digital solution can drive measurable & monetizable footfalls are the retailers. It is ironic that a digital solution could be the saviour that malls and offline businesses are waiting for. Retailers await the highly anticipated sponsored locations of the Pokémon company.”
Arnav Ghosh said, “Geo Tagging helps to deliver relevant contextual engagement with consumers at his location, allows the brand to walk up to the consumer and not vice-versa, which makes the brand interaction more meaningful and relevant. Brands using AR can use geo tagging to deliver extremely contextual content.”
Without reaching the shores of the Indian app market, Pokémon Go has created a sense of inquisitiveness among users and brands. However, it will be interesting to see if the marketers can use this platform to re-invent an entirely new technology that’s waiting to be explored.