Pokémon Go is down across Europe and the US. Niantic Labs claims that it is due to the great number of downloads but the hacking group has claimed responsibility for it, say it is a DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) Attack. The alleged hackers call themselves PoodleCorp according to an article by the Independent. This is yet to be verified though but the same article claims that the same group has made trouble before for the YouTube sensation PewDiePie.
A DDOS attack is basically a way to take down a website by overloading its servers with too many requests per second. The website crashes and no one is able to access it. Now for a gaming sensation like Pokémon Go, this is much worse than a tragedy, its a catastrophe. Gamers from the UK, the US and Holland took to twitter to unload a world of hate on the hackers and expressed their ire at having to wait to catch ’em all. According to the Mirror, the issue has been solved for most users in the UK. Pokémon Go’s servers were overloaded when it launched earlier this month but that was because so many people actually signed up to play that the servers couldn’t handle it. The game has steadily been building up a userbase that numbers in the tens of millions. Only in the US the app has 21 million daily active users, surpassing the previous record held by Candy Crush Saga (Thank God!). Daily usage on Android devices has now eclipsed that of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
People have been so immersed in the game that they’ve literally disregarded the real world and its dangers. This Thursday, two men fell off a cliff chasing Pokémon in San Diego and this Friday a man crashed his car in to a tree in New York while playing the game. A video posted by Vimeo user Woodzys shows a stampede at Central Park, New York City because people had spotted Vaporeon, a water Pokémon and one of the evolutions of Eevee. Thankfully no one has been killed yet but it’s only a matter of time if this trend continues. But it’s not all bad, Pokémon Go has also been shown to reduce social anxiety and to improve mental and physical health in individuals. And then of course there’s also all the accidental exercise people have been getting, walking around for blocks to catch Pokémon and battle in gyms.
There has been an immense rise in revenue for Nintendo, the company that owns the Pokémon franchise. Even though Nintendo owns just a 33% stock in the game and even though it just receives just 30% of the revenue from Pokémon Go, its post release share price has risen sharply, amounting to an increase in value of $14.5 billion. And it hasn’t been two weeks since the game came out. That’s incredible. Nintendo’s market value also increased by $9 billion within five days of the release.