It barely requires an introduction — Pokémon Go has quickly become one of the biggest games globally, bringing millions of people out into the real world. No-one saw the success coming and the game has become a sensation, with people, businesses, governments and presidential nominees all getting involved.
We’ll be honest — we love the game here at Messy. But it’s got us thinking about what we can do with it. The game has great potential for businesses to engage with people and get some great traffic, and we’ve got five ideas of how this might happen.
The facts about Pokémon Go are pretty phenomenal
Whether or not it’s just a fad, it’s hard to argue that Pokémon Go hasn’t been a success. It took barely a week for millions of players to log in and start exploring the world through a new augmented reality (AR).
Over 21 million people are playing across the globe, spending an average of 43 minutes in the app throughout the day. Tapping into the nostalgia many have for Pokémon, Niantic (the developers of the game) have made millions of people excited about the idea of AR games and services.
So how could businesses tap into this success in the future?
Businesses have already started seeing the effects of Pokémon Go everywhere. New people are coming into real-world locations that have special digital real estate (Pokéstops and Gyms) increasing customer dwell times and boosting sales. There are many ways that Niantic could now bring businesses into the game, and we have a few predictions on what this might look like.
Paid Pokéstops and Gyms
This idea seems the most likely. Pokéstops and Gyms are special locations in the game where players can collect items, catch Pokémon and battle for territory. Allowing businesses to pay to have their locations become Pokéstops would be a great way to drive traffic and increase dwell time. It’s been confirmed that McDonalds in Japan will be the first to take advantage of this idea, but we believe that Niantic will soon allow any business to get involved.
For many, Pokémon Go has become their fitness tracker of choice. Gyms (the real ones) and fitness trainers could gamify their services using some of the game’s mechanics. For example, eggs in the game will only hatch after the player has walked 2, 5 or 10km. We could see personal trainers incorporating eggs and Pokéstops into workouts as an incentive to get a new client-base moving. We saw a similar thing happen with the Nintendo Wii and older adults years ago.
Sponsored Events and Tours
Now this is something that has already started to appear. In many locations hundreds of players have come together for a Pokéwalk in a fun and social way to play the game. It’s inevitable that we’ll soon see companies running these events, possibly with special in-game gifts and prizes.
In-game Billboards and Advertising
At the moment the game world is just filled with Pokéstops and Gyms, overlaid onto a digital map of the real world. To help monetise the app, Niantic may create in-game virtual billboards that could appear on player’s screens as an interactive form of mobile advertising. They may opt to start using more traditional advertising (such as banners and overlays), but we think billboards would be much more engaging for players and businesses.
New AR Games and Services
Pokémon Go has shown just how popular AR can be and allowed mobile users to become experienced using the technology. Now that it has been exposed to the mainstream, we reckon businesses and developers will be quick to create new and exciting experiences using AR games and services.
This is an exciting time in mobile gaming and people are engaging with the digital world like never before. It’s clear that Pokémon Go has people interested about what’s possible with the platform. If our predictions are true, AR can offer businesses and companies new and exciting ways to engage with people and mobile experiences in the future.
If you’re a business looking to take advantage of a nearby Pokéstop, simply contact us for creative ideas on how to make it happen.