Over 85 million people have started playing Pokemon Go since it was launched in Europe, Canada, and the United States two weeks ago, catapulting Nintendo's new samrtphone game to the top of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. According to international Pokemon sales manager Kersten Braumbach, a few days ago, 20 million people could be seen playing Pokemon Go simultaneously worldwide.
Braumbach says that each day, five million new users join Pokemon Go, which is officially coming to Israel soon. Pokemon Go comes as part of the franchise's 20 year anniversary celebrations. It has spawned toys, a hugely successful trading card game, a massively popular cartoon series (which includes several feature films), and a hit series of video games, the newest of which is the innovative Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go allows players to hunt for so called "pocket monsters" by pointing their smartphone camera lens at their real-world environments, in which the virtual pokemon will then appear on-screen.
Boaz Dekel, CEO of Pokemon's Israeli partner PMI, said Tuedsay, "The company is bringing the Pokemon trend back to Israel after 20 years. (PMI) will start marketing strategic Pokemon card packets in the next few days, and (as part of) stage 2, will market dolls and (other Pokemon products). The star making the world go crazy is Pikachu."
This renewed frenzy is worth a lot of money for video game maker Nintendo, which has doubled its stock value since Pokemon Go, with the company's total value reaching $42.5 billion. This boost has driven Nintendo's value past that of competitor Sony.
Nintendo did not actually develop Pokemon go, but it has partial ownership of Pokemon franchise. American game developer Niantic, Inc. is the one behind the actual game.
The game's success is quite remarkable, among other reasons, because it's not yet officially available all over the world (although people have found roundabout ways to install it anyway). In the beginning, it was only available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Later, Britain and Germany joined in, followed by dozens of other countries – which then led to problems of server collapses due to over-demand.
According to figures by Israeli company StartApp, 40 percent of Pokemon Go users are in countries where the game has not yet officially launched – the leader being Indonesia. About 5 percent of Android users in Israel have downloaded Pokemon Go, about 55 percent of whom were in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area (Gush Dan), and about 70 percent of them were male.