Pokemon Go beats porn at its height of popularity, but is the hype over?

by admin | July 31, 2016 11:58 pm

At the height of its popularity Pokemon Go eclipsed porn, news and weather in search term popularity on Google around the world.

But a recent analysis of Google Trends and keyword data suggests, the hype may have passed.

Online retailer Yellow Octopus set ‘Pokemon Go’ against stable internet search terms, as well as recent breaking news events, to show the rise of the game’s popularity.

“I started recording the data after it launched on July 6,” said Matt Lawry, marketing manager for Yellow Octopus.

“I wanted to show the magnitude against something like Brexit, a huge worldwide shift and then obviously against some more constant search terms, like porn, weather and news. They are right up there with bigger searches and they don’t really change.”

According to Google’s trends, porn had reclaimed its spot above Pokemon Go by July 23.

Mr Lawry said, the hype around previous trends that have gone viral – think planking, the ice-bucket challenge, the hashtag #yolo – “pales in comparison next to Pokemon Go”.

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Pokemon Go: Is the hype starting to fade?

His analysis found that Pokemon Go reached the peak of Google search trends on July 16, followed by a dramatic slump on July 17, before rising again to a lesser peak on July 19. Search popularity has since continued to decline.

“I guess given this is a concrete thing, a game, it will probably plateau out over a long period of time,” Mr Lawry said.

“If you look at trends like planking which went totally viral, you see those sort of trends drop off quite quickly…it’s definitely not going away, but I think we are probably seeing the hype gone.”

Where the augmented reality game goes from here is unclear, but shares in Nintendo Co tumbled as much as 18 per cent on Monday[1], when the company said Pokemon GO! would have a limited impact on its earnings.

Even if interest wanes, experts say there are still millions of users and dollars to be tapped into by the game and offshoot industries and products.

In 2016 the market for all mobile in-game purchases is expected to grow 20 per cent globally to reach US$29.8 billion.

But toys and games analyst for Euromonitor International, Matthew Hudak, said the unique play style of Pokémon Go presents other opportunities beyond a share of this global mobile game market.

“Current wearables likely won’t see a lot of crossover with this app, but future products, especially augmented reality headsets, will likely look to Pokémon Go as a roadmap to some of the gaming opportunities their devices could achieve,” he said.

“The Pokémon brand itself will likely benefit, as discussions of a live action movie have been reignited and it is likely we’re going to see more Pokémon toy merchandise on the shelves in the near term. Retail and foodservice outlets [are] participating in Pokémon Go and will likely continue to look into possible sponsorship or other opportunities with the game.”

Managing partner at Retail Systems Research Nikki Baird said anyone looking to continue piggybacking off the trend needed to be flexible.

“I think there is plenty of short term opportunity,as long as retailers are quick and flexible enough to take advantage of it.

If people were still looking to cash in, she said they “better be fast, because there is just no guarantee that it’s going to last long”.

Endnotes:
  1. shares in Nintendo Co tumbled as much as 18 per cent on Monday: http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/nintendo-shares-dive-as-company-plays-down-pokemon-go-earnings-20160725-gqdibz.html

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