Is it possible that computer games could actually become the reason that kids go back outside and play?
The recent release of Pokemon Go has hit the world by storm. It’s had twice the number of installs than Tinder (in a week) and now has higher daily active users than Snapchat. This is insane numbers considering it’s only been a week and it hasn’t be released globally yet.
This new game uses what’s called Augmented Reality (AR) to bring the Pokemon world into our own. As you look through your phone’s display, it shows what’s in front of you (through the camera) with content from the game being super imposed. So you can basically “find” Pokemon around your local area.
Why is this helping kids to get outdoors, well simple really, if you stay in your house to play this game, you simply won’t find the best Pokemon, or potentially any at all. Not only that, but as the game goes on you can challenge other people whilst walking around on your journey. This means friends can go out and meet up in a particular location to then have a Pokemon battle.
This is great news for parents who have been struggling to drag their children away from a screen or the sofa. But what’s really interesting is the number of adults that have in fact been playing this. It’s stormed the internet and in my opinion, is going to start the AR gaming revolution.
So how does Pokémon Go help small businesses and what has this game got to do with online advertising?
Well, as people need to be out and about to play this game, there is a huge opportunity to try to encourage people to find Pokemons near your business. So how is this possible, well it seems a few local businesses have already figured out a good way to do this. Something called a Lure can be purchased and used to lure out the creatures.
A pizza joint owner has been using these to keep “luring” the Pokemons which in turn has helped to bring the people looking for them. So what sort of costs did these business owners incur?
According to Inc magazine, the math is simple:
With $100 netting you 14,500 Pokecoins and an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 Pokecoins:
14,500 Pokecoins / 680 = 21 eight-packs of lures
(21 * 8)/2 = 84 hours
$100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour
The results of advertising on Pokémon Go?
I own a pizzeria that’s a Pokestop and I literally did this all day. I had a ton of kids and adults (mostly adults) come in for a slice of pizza and a drink until the lure ran out.
So could AR games be the new way to advertise a local business to try to encourage people to visit and purchase? Is there a way to get in-app purchases that would link to the game? Or brands offering people if you buy X then you get Y in the game? For example “buy a can a Coke and get extra power points and coins in game”.
It’s an interesting time and it’s going to be good to see how game makers start to change and implement more and more AR to keep gamers engaged. Can you imagine a Call of Duty multi-player, outdoors in a park, playing against each other through your iPhone? It’s a cross between Quasar (Lazer tag) and computer games, but a great way to get kids off the sofa.
Did Nintendo hit a goldmine with Pokémon Go?
Not only is the game being downloaded and played more than most apps, but it’s managed to breathe new life into Nintendo, a company that felt like it was declining ever since the release of the Wii.
The shares have seen a climb of 34% over the first couple of days since the game released, generating an increase in value of billions for the company. This is still based only on gamers in a few select markets being able to play the game.
In the mean time, there have been some people trying to benefit from the success and hype, having created fake apps for the iTunes store here in the UK at the same time. Don’t be fooled, for now it’s not actually available.
PHOTO CREDIT: Miramax Films/Photofest