Though a lot of eager beavers had already hacked it on to their phones, Pokémon Go is finally officially available in Europe. The game which has attracted so many millions of registrations since it was released on the 6th of July has now been released in Germany (July 13) and the UK (July 14), the first countries to have it in Europe. Previously only available in the US, Australia and New Zealand, the game has surpassed the number of porn searches on Google, an achievement in any country or language.
Registrations are still periodically unavailable due to the intense popularity of the game but users can try to register via their google accounts too. The game is such a sensation that people have attributed “accidental exercise” and muscle fatigue to it; Pokémon Go requires users to physically move around to different places on the physical map and catch Pokémon visible on their phones when they reach them. Guided by GPS and motivated by wonder, the users comply. Some people have found a hack around it though that allows them to sit at home while piloting a drone hooked up to their phones to catch the Pocket Monsters.
The limited rollout has left a lot of Pokémon fans displeased, specially those that have grown up with the franchise and feel undeniable nostalgia for their childhood. Not only that, Japan still doesn’t have it and it created the franchise in the first place!
Pokémon was first broadcast as an anime series in 1996 and has continued to this day, though its popularity has waned. The card games and video games still have fans even now though and nothing has proved that the fervor is alive and well more than Pokémon Go.
The game will go down in history as the first proper success of an augmented reality game. Pokémon Go has successfully combined the real world and fantasy to give players an addictive experience to the point that they disregard their surroundings completely and set their morals and better judgement aside. I’m serious, people are walking around Holocaust Memorial museums, hospitals and cemeteries looking for Snorlaxes and Zubats. That ain’t right. Regardless, you see my point. However, the game has also been attributed to bringing together diverse groups of people and improving the mental and physical health of those suffering from social anxiety and depression. Some people even reported improved moods, motivation to exercise and weight loss. If that’s not a revolution for the Millennial generation I don’t know what is.
The game has been downloaded 7.5 million times in the US since it was released. It’s daily use time of 43 minutes* has been reported to be larger than that of WhatsApp (30.5 minutes), Instagram (25 minutes), Snapchat (23 minutes) and Facebook Messenger (13 minutes). The original Pokémon theme from the anime has also had a 630% rise in listeners on Spotify.
The game has also added billions in value to Nintendo who partly owns the Pokémon Franchise and sent gains soaring to $7.5 billion. As of July 13, the game has racked up 15 million downloads on all platforms combined.