Five Players in the ecosystem making money off Pokémon GO

It has been two weeks since Pokémon GO was released in a few countries — US, Australia and New Zealand (Japan, the birthplace of Pokémon will have the game soon enough) and it has become a global phenomenon! I am not much of a fan ( I’d rather go run in the park than catch some digital monsters) and when I downloaded the game, the servers were down but who am I to say anything?

People are definitely going out much more — my sister is going out just to play the game. Niantic (makers of the game) and Nintendo (owns one third of Pokémon company) are having a great week — their investment in the game is said to be about $30 million (this partnership includes Google as well). They are holding off introducing the game globally to boost their server capacity and that is a good move. Considering how the past two weeks have gone by, I am sure it will be a global hit. Nintendo’s stock price has already risen 51% since the release of the game! But who else is making money from this craze apart from its makers? Lets find out.

  1. Phone Companies — Forbes reported that some analysts are estimating $1.6 million per day on Apple devices alone. That’s just staggering! The in-app purchases of coins is expected to hit the roof with the wider release of the game.
  2. Network Service Provider — If you are hooked to the game, then I am pretty sure your data plan is going to take a hit. The coffers of the network you are on will definitely become fuller!
  3. Gamers — There are reports that some proficient gamers are selling their accounts for as high as $600 after they reach a higher level. Some other gamers are charging a hourly fee to play the game for you!!
  4. Fare and its drivers — Uber is not allowed in Texas and the local taxi-sharing company is Fare. Some drivers have devised ideas (see ad here)to make use of this craze to help players get from one location to the other to catch more characters. Pretty nifty I must say and safe as well for the players!
  5. Restaurants — Small restaurants and local eating-spots have a huge uptick in their footfall if they are listed as a Pokéstop and there are multiple others who are paying in-app money to use the Lure Module from the game and attract as many players as possible to their location. One pizzeria’s business in NY shot up by 75% by paying just $10 to lure some Pokémon characters into the store!

I am sure there are many other players in the ecosystem who will come up with ingenious ideas to make some money till the hype continues. And I am sure it will not stop there. There will be copy-cat apps which will use the same concept to release new games. A host of other companies are anticipated to use augmented reality in a fun way to increase their visibility and sales!

First published here.

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