Pokemon Go! overtakes Twitter as augmented reality game goes global


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 international release of Pokemon Go was initially delayed because too many people wanted to play it, but the app finally went live in the UK on 14th July on both Apple App Stores and Google Play.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Pokemon Go! hasn't revealed official sponsorship formats yet, but that hasn't stopped brands jumping on the augmented reality phenomenon. We look at five of the best examples of companies taking advantage of the latest mobile gaming craze...


Best Buy

The US retial giant came up with Pokemon Go! hunting kits, including water, spare mobile batteries and beef jerky.


The property site used its mapping platform to offer tips on where to find certain types of Pokemon- neatly tying in its location software with the game.

Cincinati Zoo

The attraction used Pokemon Go! to emphasise that it offers free outside Wi-Fi at player hunt for digital critters amonst the real-life ones.

Strand Book Store

This iconic New York retailer discovered it was a 'Pokestop', where players can restock and buy equipment during their hunts. It made use of its status with this tweet.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

This fast food restaurant was alerted by followers that several Pokemon where in its restaurant- making you to pass on the news to bring in more players (and potential customers).

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