Forget apps like Candy Crush and Tinder, Pokémon GO has eclipsed all of its competition garnering (at its peak) just over 21 million active daily users. On average, users spend about 30 minutes using the app, which also surpasses time spent on Facebook. We’ve heard all manner of ridiculous stories from stampedes in Central Park, to folks taking tumbles down cliffs, and one Florida man even shot at some Pokémon GO users.
Since its quiet US release on July 7th, Pokémon GO has given Nintendo a massive boost in its market share posting a 100 percent gain in shares bought since the the game was launched. Available in 35 countries, and with only 2 weeks of gameplay data available, Pokémon GO is the most successful mobile game ever. Its numbers are expected to continue to soar because the game will be launching into another huge market on July 20th — Japan.
It seems that the first 30+ countries were a test run for Niantic (the company who partnered with Nintendo and Pokémon to create the app) to make sure their servers could accommodate millions of users. TechCrunch sources confirm that the launch in Japan was delayed to give back end engineers enough time to work out the bugs. With Pokémon GO‘s launch in Japan, users will also begin to see sponsored locations, with McDonald’s stepping up as the first to partner with Niantic. That’s over 3,000 “Poké Gyms” that will become available to Japanese players where they can grab some food and battle other players. If the sponsored location model is successful in Japan, there’s no doubt it will make its way to other countries as well.
Pokémon GO is part exploration, part capture the objective as players use their phones to scan their surroundings for Pokémon “in the wild” which can be caught by using their touchscreens to throw a Poké Ball. Leveling up is what separates the determined gamers from the casual fans, but Forbes reports that people who get more levels see more problems. Chief among those concerns are saleable activities at higher levels. With no multiplayer capabilities (yet) and a flawed player experience (XP) system, the game doesn’t have a reward for nearing the end. And if you’re planning on boosting your status by snagging some rare Pokémon, there are 6 that no players have come across yet.
However, WriterParty has some handy tips on how to beef up your collection skills with Great Balls, Ultra Balls, and Master Balls. But to unlock these items, players need to at least reach level 12 before upgraded balls are available at Pokéstops. Remember to look both ways before crossing the street, pay attention to warning signs, and be safe while trying to catch ’em all.
Pokémon GO is available for download on Androd and iOS mobile devices.