Pokemon Go!, an augemnted reality game that challenges players to find hidden characters in the real world, has gone global, overtaking Twitter on Android.
The mobile version of the popular gaming franchise Pokemon has proved so popular that Niantic Labs has been forced to pause the global roll out due to high demand crashing the servers.
The UK and international release of Pokemon Go is being delayed – because too many people want to play it.
The game, which uses augmented reality to let people catch Pokemon in real life, is already one of the most popular to ever be released.
It has so far only been released in the US, after initially rolling out in Australia and New Zealand. And it is being held back from expanding further because the huge demand to play it is breaking the game.
Even in the US, where it was released this week, the game is having trouble because the surge in people playing the game is breaking the servers that power it. Many people are getting error messages such as “Failed to get game data from the server” when they try and play.
Due to the incredible number of #PokemonGO downloads, some Trainers may experience sign-up difficulties. Don’t worry, our team is on it!
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 7, 2016
According to Forbes, Pokemon Go is already about to surpass Twitter in the number of people actively using it daily on Android devices.
The Pokemon franchise is jointly owned by Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures and since its inception in 1998 has led to TV shows and films, as well as many spin-off toy and merchandise products.
View a trailer for the game below:
Sponsored ‘Pokestops’ coming soon?
While ‘trainers’ are trying to catch ’em all with Pokémon Go, the developers are figuring out how to make money from the augmented reality (AR) game.
Along with the existing in-app purchases from “PokéCoins,” developer Niantic says it will use sponsored locations as another way to cash in.
Niantic CEO John Hanke told The New York Times that the developer has already signed deals with some retail establishments to turn their businesses into sponsored Pokemon Go locations. The developer will announce sponsored locations “in the future.”
— Waterstones Walton (@WaterstonesWoT) July 11, 2016
The New York Times mentions fast food restaurants and coffee shops as two examples of possible sponsored PokeStops. Given the huge popularity of Pokemon Go, it’s not hard to imagine retail establishments lining up for sign sponsorship deals to attract more customers.
Sponsorships make a lot of sense for Pokémon Go, because retailers are already paying to set Pokéstop “lures” to draw players.
— Fuzzy's Taco Shop (@fuzzystacoshop) July 11, 2016
— Mall of America (@mallofamerica) July 11, 2016
Also, Niantic is familiar with the concept thanks to its other AR game, Ingress.
With that app, sponsors like Duane Reade pharmacies in the US and Vodafone in Germany pay to turn their locations into “portals,” drawing extra foot traffic.
With Pokémon Go, advertisers would be charged for every customer visiting a store, as confirmed by the app.