Unless you’ve been hiding under a Geodude for the last week you would have noticed the cultural phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. Just as a Pidgeotto evolves into a glorious Pidgeot, the free augmented reality mobile game has skyrocketed to success in the USA, New Zealand and Australia, and has been released for Android in the UK today.
These incredible charts show just how popular the game has become – it’s already been installed on more Android phones than Tinder, and as of yesterday it had more daily users on Android than Snapchat, Tinder, Instagram and Facebook. It seems like ‘bad’ reviews from media outlets haven’t put people off. The Guardian gave it just two stars, ‘to put it bluntly, Pokémon Go is not good as a game… The real fun, though, comes from heading out on to the streets’.
With its increasing popularity and the ‘real fun’ of being outside, the game is attracting some people that would be more at home with Team Rocket. Police in Missouri have warned that armed thieves have been staking out Pokéstops and robbing people.
There are further safety concerns about the game too – cyber security. After downloading, some users were notified that the app now had full access to their Google accounts. This was rectified quickly, but as pointed out by Pentagram Partners Hudson-Powell there’s still likely to be a link; ‘Pokémon Go, improving Google Maps one Pikachu at a time. Part of a wider trend of spinning off and gamifying services and algorithm features’.
So while you’re out catching ‘em all, be prepared for criminals who’re after more than your Charizard – and to accept your role as Google’s newest unpaid intern.
This originally appeared in Moving Brands Wednesday 20160713.
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