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Pokemon Go Becomes Biggest Mobile Game In US History ( 174

An anonymous reader writes: Pokemon Go is now the biggest mobile game of all time in the U.S. Not only has it surpassed Twitter's daily users, but it is seeing people spend more time in its app than in Facebook. An earlier report from SimilarWeb says Pokemon Go has surpassed Tinder in terms of installations -- the app surpassed Tinder on July 7th. Today, the tracking firm says Pokemon Go has managed to surpass Twitter in terms of daily active users on Monday. It says almost 6% of the entire U.S. Android population is engaging with the app on a daily basis. A new report from SurveyMonkey intelligence indicated that Pokemon Go has claimed the title "biggest mobile game in U.S. history." The game saw just under 21 million daily active users in the U.S. on Monday. It's reportedly closing in on Snapchat on Android, and could surpass Google Maps on Android as well. According to app store intelligence firm SensorTower, the average iPhone user on iOS spent 33 minutes catching Pokemon, which is more than any other apps it analyzed, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and The app with the second-most average usage at 22 minutes, 8 seconds, was Facebook. SurveyMonkey did note that Pokemon Go still falls short of other games when it comes to time spent in games. Game of War sees nearly 2 hours of total daily usage for the average user, while Candy Crush Saga sees daily usage of about 43 minutes. In just two days, Pokemon Go brought Nintendo's market value to $7.5 billion. It's worth noting that it remains to be seen whether or not the game will continue to break records or turn into a ghost town like Nintendo's first mobile game, Miitomo.
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Pokemon Go Becomes Biggest Mobile Game In US History

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  • eventually and people will move on to other things.

    Anyone remember the Nintendo Wii craze when it first came out?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this a good thing?

    • They said the same about the Kinect. It lasted ... what, 3 months?

      And this is even worse. What good is the "exercise" of going from one Pokestop to the next when they are shared between Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Burger King?

      • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:49PM (#52506851) Journal

        I know this might sound crazy, but it is possible to walk past a coffee shop, bakery, and even a fast-food restaurant without stopping to stuff your face with a 1000 calorie snack.

        I swear, it's true.

        • Judging from what I saw in the US I thought it's against the law or something.

      • They said the same about the Kinect. It lasted ... what, 3 months?

        What interests me is how Microsoft seems to have again missed the boat after being a pioneer in augmented reality with their HoloLens. A replay of earlier failures to press home their market-leader status in pocket and larger touch-screen devices, in gestural interfaces, and in web browsers.

        They seem to have a fixation on big lost battles like search and their own phone ecosystem, rather than exploiting and continuing to perfect their innovations. They develop exciting things, but move on while they're s

        • Large corporations are usually not very innovative. For good reason. They have SUCH a baggage of bureaucracy to haul about that the risk becomes unacceptable. Don't forget, that programmer that produces something has to carry a load of lawyers, finance guys, managers and a lot of other dead weight, so whatever he produces MUST be profitable. Innovation, that's something you can do at a startup.

          You might have noticed that even Google, which was pretty much the company with perpetuals "betas" that tossed more

          • by Mandrel ( 765308 )

            Large corporations are usually not very innovative.

            Often true. But Apple seems to be an exception. This may be one legacy of Steve Jobs. A willingness to take time to perfect things, to relentlessly improve their offerings without getting distracted trying to clone the current-big-thing, to bet the company on an opportunity, and to aggressively steer a large company faster than would be possible without a BDL [] as CEO.

            Perhaps the need for time and space to perfect their products is the origin of Apple's notorious secrecy.

          • by hjf ( 703092 )

            Not really. I work for a large company in software development. Our product is innovative, but we're forced to use silly old paradigms. Fully SQL database driven. Everything has to be .NET. LINQ is not allowed.
            Now, the problem isn't the company, but the managers. They don't understand that LINQ isn't Entity Framework ("LINQ we don't allow because we can't tune DB queries"). Also: we use Visual Studio 2008. Because "old tech is proven and reliable". That is what my boss and his superiors actually believe.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:19PM (#52506683) Journal

    IMHO (which is biased) Pokemon has a limited lifespan, until people actually get bored doing the same old shit every day. There is almost nothing compelling about the game, and there is very little if any competition between the teams.

    So, while it may be exciting now, because it is shiny and new, once the luster tarnishes, what is there to hold the attention of Dory the Fish?

    • by smelch ( 1988698 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:22PM (#52506705)
      I do agree it will drop of dramatically in about 5 days. But, to improve longevity you continually release new features until you've turned it in to a AR version of the core games in the series. Trading comes first, new pokemon according to "season" comes next, revamped combat, etc. and you can keep a respectable community for the game. I mean, WoW has always been extremely repetitive but did and does very well. It's just not a cultural phenomenon.
    • Updates may keep it alive. If there is a reward for exploring new places, you can bet people will take out the game to see new stuff when they travel to new places. Currently though, the landmarks can be reused every 5 minutes. The game has a ton of "borrowed" content, it just has to capitalize on it.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Updates may keep it alive. If there is a reward for exploring new places, you can bet people will take out the game to see new stuff when they travel to new places. Currently though, the landmarks can be reused every 5 minutes. The game has a ton of "borrowed" content, it just has to capitalize on it.

        So what about their previous game, Ingress? That seems to still be going strong.

        So yes, content updates are key, but there's so much content available AND all the experience in Ingress that could be applied to

        • I've played Ingress since early beta phase, and have seen many people leave, and then many more come. For instance, in beta there were only 8 player levels. People got to 8, realized there was no real endgame beyond that, and left. And then Niantic added levels up to 16, added missions, First Saturdays, events, lots of new game concepts, and so on, and years later it's still really active. In the earlier days Niantic was really underfunded and was slow to market for new features.
    • If it does remain static, it definitely will die a quick death. However, if they keep up with updates in both content and gameplay, then it may well have substantial legs.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        They might even make a movie about it...!

    • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:49PM (#52506855) Homepage

      "Pokemon has a limited lifespan" Pretty bold statement about a gaming franchise going as strong as ever 20 years later down the road from where it started. Not bad for a property that is older than the entirety of the XBox existing, and almost as old as the original PlayStation, just to put things into perspective. But yes, let's keep on claiming it has a "limited lifespan"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Of course it has limited lifespan, but: how limited? Did you miss the part about more people using it than Facebook? I thought Facebook's novelty would wear off after a few weeks, but people are still playing that too! Or at least they were, until a week ago...

      If Pokemon Go is the new Facebook whose bandwagon all our bosses want us to jump onto (our site doesn't have to have a like button anymore? Instead we have to tell people to look around for critters?) that's a refreshing change. Now where's my Pokem

    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:58PM (#52506887)

      Add in PvP and it will get even bigger. Trading is coming which will be a huge incentive, but the ability to have pokemon battles against your friends will turn this into something more addictive than crack.

      • PvP will be introduced very cautiously. There's a super-child-friendly brand to protect, and a mixed-age audience. When 14-year-old player goes out to battle and meets up with 42-year-old player, even with purely innocent intent, the creep-factor will be off the charts.

        • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Thursday July 14, 2016 @03:15AM (#52508483)

          Not really sure how this is different to trading? I doubt you would be able to ever stand there with a beacon on saying battle me, or trade with me. I had assumed that trading would be restricted to people who knew that each other were playing and the same with PvP. Of course that allows organisations outside of Pokemon Go to organise battles but again no different to trading.

    • While I'm not a big pokemon person, the series and games both came out when I was in high school/college so I missed the original 'craze', I decided to take a look by installing it on my tablet... Only to be told my tablet wasn't supported. So while I've seen pics and gone 'eh', I can't actually see for myself. I'm even less motivated to take a peek now.

      • Btw what I find even funnier is Nintendo just send me an email ad stating 'Nintendo is the place to be for summer!' and not once did they even hint to the seeming popularity of Pokemon Go... Or even recognize it's existence. It reminds me how disconnected they really seem from their 'fans'.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @06:32PM (#52506757) Journal

    I wonder if it could have been the killer app for google glass... if people hadn't been so freaked out about privacy that they would assault anyone wearing one.

    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @07:01PM (#52506905)

      Google glass failed because it was rubbish. Horrible interface, slow and a really crap screen. Not to mention ugly and weird looking.

      Privacy was a concern but I feel like that was more of a US centric concern than a general world wide one.

    • So, your solution to people hating Google Glass because it could have its camera on all the time, is to write an app that requires its camera to be on all the time?

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        How many people do you see assaulting people using pokemon go? That's got its camera on all the time too.... it's just as likely to record people, but nobody calls pokemon go players derisive comments like glassholes for google glass users.
        • Well, Pokemon Go is a game that you can tell doesn't feed information back to a company famous for invading privacy and building giant databases on people. I mean, it's camera data remains locally there (known) and not based on what app they are running. So, not as likely to record people.

          Secondly, holding a phone in your hand is a conscious action. Most people aren't worried about obvious, human limited recording. It's the passive, pervasive police state glassholes wanted to subject us to that people o

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )

            I presume then that you would be against any kind of general purpose computing platform as wearable tech that could provide an immersive augmented reality system, because it also contains a camera (which is necessary to provide an augmented reality that seamlessly blends with the physical surroundings) that could also conceivably be used to record people's activities, and would not require any sort of "conscious action" like holding something in your hand to utilize. Consider that the fact that it wouldn

            • Yes, I tend to oppose any "general purpose computing platform as wearable tech that could provide an immersive augmented reality system". I'd be fine with such wearables if there were safeguards that prevented the camera images from being uploaded to a server, say by having the AR done at the OS level.

              I don't want license plate trackers, for faces, following me around - that seems logical.

              Make your wearable a watch! Make it a cameraless screen in front of your eyes. Those don't impose a cost on my privac

              • by mark-t ( 151149 )
                Why do you assume that you would matter enough to anyone for them to want to track you or follow you around in the first place? What about wetware, were absolutely everything that somebody else *sees* could potentially be uploaded to a server somewhere... and not necessarily even at the time that they saw it.
                • Do I think that there are people tracking me? No. Do I think that computer systems are tracking me on par with everyone else. Yes. Do I therefore oppose increasing their power? Yes.

                  I mean, do you not think that license plate tracking cameras are recording your car's movements along with all others?

                  Wetware is totally different. There's a fundamental difference in scale, completeness, and data-minability of automated metrics. Human beings have finiite time, and I doubt they want to spend time on me.


          • Yeah because people continuously fed videos and pictures at a constant rate to the mothership on their limited data plans.

            Personally I don't see the problem with Google Glass. I do however instantly form an opinion of people who use the word Glasshole about a person they've never met and don't know.

            • Absent that constant feed, half or more of the AR features don't work. I mean, if you want it to pop up info on who you are talking to, you need to send a picture of their face. Or if you want to find out about cheaper online deals, you need to send the barcode. IN both cases, you can do a lot of preprocessing on teh device.

              In fairness, I don't think I ever met a murderer, but I still form an opinion about them. Judging someone based on their actions, esp. when that judgement is condemning them for a spe

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Oh, and to answer your question... yes. Because if it such usage became pervasive as pokemon go seems to have, people would be more likely to think people using it are just using an augmented reality application more than they were interested in invading other people's privacy.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @07:19PM (#52506993) Journal
    What if you can catch angry birds in Pokemon Go?

    And then slice virtual fruits using virtual knives to feed the angry birds?

    What if the angry birds eating sliced fruits become candy that you must crush?

    Inquiring minds want to know...

  • Time for your tin foil hats for this one. :)..

    . []

    Pokémon Go Linked to CIA Augmented reality software could turn smartphones into Imperial probe droids

    The ‘augmented reality’ mobile game Pokémon Go, which uses the player’s smartphone camera to ‘add’ Pokémon to real-world locations, has ties to the CIA. The developer of Pokémon Go, Niantic, Inc., was founded by John Hanke, who previously received funding from the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel to develop what eventually became Google Earth.

    • You should read Charles Stross' "Halting State". Forget data gathering, AR apps can be used to get people to do useful tasks for you, for free! Need someone to scope out a target of interest? Make it an objective in the game for them to take a picture of the area. Need someone to deliver a message or carry information discreetly? Make it part of the game, and give them points when the message is successfully dropped off.

      Controlling a popular AR game would allow you to create mobs on demand. This is limited

  • by Centurix ( 249778 ) <> on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @07:58PM (#52507253) Homepage

    It'll grow past the game it is and some people will figure out that they enjoy the indirect aspects of the game. Fitness groups, history study groups, faction gatherings, strategy planning groups. Ingress went from a game on the screen to people actually meeting and doing other stuff.

  • ...we're gonna Pokie like it's 1999!
  • Impressive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2016 @09:13PM (#52507539)

    All the more impressive considering that it's a shit Pokemon game. It's a decent Engress mod, sure, but as a Pokemon game, it's terrible

    There are almost no battles. The few that exist are limited to mashing your screen, instead of the turn-based strategy usually associated with Pokemon.

    And those scant few battles do not grant experience to your critters. The only way to level them up is to capture a couple dozen of the same 'mon, and grind them into kibble ("candies"). You'll get a couple dozen levels from each candy (current peak levels in the 1000-1500 range). Evolving takes between 15-400 candies. Oh, and the candies are breed specific.

    These come to a hilarious point regarding your starter Pokemon. Normally, you pick one of 3 or 4 Pokemon to start your game, and that critter can level with you the whole game long. You'll give them a unique name, see them evolve and mature. You still pick a starter here, but none of that emotional attachment here. Your starter will be universally ground into the aforementioned kibble and fed to a higher level version of itself caught in the wild.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      yeah what a terrible game 21 million people playing it every day having an awesome time

      here, have zero fucks to add to your gigantic pile

      • I never said it was a bad game.

        Quite the opposite, I said it's a good Ingress mod. Ingress is already a popular title, so a good mod to a good game is ... good

        That said, it's a terrible Pokemon game, with only superficial nods to the series. You can like the game all you want, it can be popular as pie, but it betrays the title.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hang on, the way to make your monster more powerful is murder its brothers and feed it their entrails, which totally doesn't just give it a prion disease? Then you can force it to fight in mortal combat?

      Cartoon drawings aside, this sounds like a pretty horrific game.

      • I always thought it was odd when my kids were watching Pokemon VHS tapes in the late 90s, that it was basically a cartoon about cock-fighting. These kids would travel all over the place, capture these semi-intelligent animals and then force them to fight for their amusement.
      • Yup ... this also makes rare critters basically worthless.

        More of the same species = more kibble to level up others of that species. Rare Pokemon are, well, rare... giving you less kibble with which to upgrade.

  • I've seen a lot of MMO launches. Tell me the numbers in 6 months.

  • What if this Pokemon game is a project designed to map, view, and record areas that were previously unmapped/not yet recorded for future use by a yet to be named entity for whatever purpose they please? Think about it.
  • Every generation of consoles cause streams of claims the sky has finally fallen in on Nintendo. Sega's (and Turbographics)CD based systems were the initial perceived killer. After that the N64 (still cartridge based) was not powerful enough to compete. Then the Gamecube was again not powerful enough to play the games people wanted to buy. Then the Wii was just the cube put into a new box with fancy shake equipped controllers. At every stage Nintendo causes a rip to form in the 'power is everything' argument

  • irrelevant as fuck.
    The game is great in a browser (but cpu heavy and not using multiple cores), but sucks on mobile devices. Just like agar its controls are made for a mouse, not a touch screen.
    If you want a game, which actually works better on a touch screen install osmos. Looks like agar, has a similiar objective (in some types of levels) but the controls work with tapping behind instead of moving the mouse point in the direction you want to go. So they are great on tablets or even phones.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis