Pokémon Go released in the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia last week and it has racked up a ton of users in a very short time. I’ve heard from friends and family that normally don’t play much for video games comment on the new game and ask me questions about it. Last night when I was walking my dog I noticed a group of about five people over by the Memorial Park with their phones out. I went up to them and sure enough they were all playing Pokémon Go. This is in a small town of about 1200, so I was surprised to see anyone out playing the game.
According to Reuters, just two days after its release, Pokémon Go was installed on more than 5 % of Android devices, meaning it is now on more Androids than the dating app Tinder. It has been downloaded over 7.5 million times across iOS and Android. Its daily active users are almost the same as Twitter and the game is being played an average of 43 minutes a day, more time than popular apps like Instagram or WhatsApp.
As a result of its fast success, Nintendo’s shares have skyrocketed, making it the largest gain in a single day since 1983. It’s already seen an increase of 36%, adding an estimated $7.5 billion to its value in just two days. The game is estimated to be bringing in about $1.6 million a day on iOS alone and over $14 million so far since launch thanks to in-game purchases of items. How much of that goes directly to Nintendo is unknown since there are multiple companies involved in the creation of Pokémon Go.
This is fantastic news for Nintendo as it transitions some of its top IP over to mobile devices for a third pillar of income. Later this fall games set in the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing universes will be coming to iOS and Android devices to drive awareness around the properties. Nintendo hopes that by getting more eyes on their franchises will mean more people will buy their consoles, handhelds, and the dedicated games that go along with them. Early reports show that strategy might be working as sales of Pokémon games have risen on Amazon tracking charts since Go released. Only time will tell if this strategy will pay off big for Nintendo, but the future definitely looks bright. More countries will be getting Pokémon Go over the next few weeks as Niantic works on server stability to make sure the game runs properly.