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As Pokémon GO launches in the UK EE reveals record uptake

pokemon go screen 2 cropped

Nintendo’s Pokémon GO augmented reality mobile game launched in the UK today, having broken most mobile app records since its US launch last week.

UK operator EE has announced that it saw 350,000 unique users of Pokémon GO on its network yesterday, before the game was even officially available, having found a way of downloading it some other way such as accessing the US app store via a VPN.

“This is the fastest take up of an app or game we’ve ever seen – and that’s before it’s officially launched! People across the country are going to be relying on a mobile data network that’s everywhere they go,” said Matt Stagg, EE head of video and content strategy.

A quick look at the top grossing Android apps and App Store free apps reveals Pokémon GO at number one, while Survey Monkey has announced that it is already the biggest mobile game in US history. The metric used is peak daily active users, with a figure of 21 million enough to overtake Candy Crush Saga. Furthermore its growth shows no signs of slowing, with its trajectory set to overtake Snapchat for US daily users on Android and surpass Google Maps as the largest user of Google map data.

This is all excellent news for Nintendo, which has been struggling to find a hit since people moved on from the Wii console. A look at its share price on Google Finance reveals a 75% jump in its share price since the game was launched – a remarkable return on the launch of a single mobile app.

Nintendo google finance

In the name of thorough and investigative journalism your intrepid correspondent took it upon himself to download and play the app today. The download and setup are very simple and you are searching for your first Pokémon within a couple of minutes of hitting the install button. Shortly after I’m proud to announce that after a couple of near misses I captured a Bulbasaur with one of my Poké-balls and finally felt complete as a 21st century human being.

pokemon go screen 1

pokemon go screen 2

At the current rate of progress Pokémon GO looks set to be a once-in-a-decade mobile internet phenomenon. Being AR and GPS-based it pushes the boundaries of engagement with mobile devices and even has the extra benefit of making people get up and walk around. How Nintendo commercialises Pokémon GO will probably set the precedent for a new era of mobile app development.

 

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