Pokémon Explodes: Here’s Who Gets Paid

Written By Christian DeHaemer

Posted July 18, 2016

Last Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl was struck by a car while playing a video game called Pokémon Go on her phone. The girl’s mother said that “The Pokémon game took her [daughter] across a major highway at 5 o’clock in the evening, which is rush hour.”

People are even playing this game while in their cars, a man in upstate New York was playing Pokémon Go while driving and ended up veering off the road and striking a tree.

In California, two young men even stepped off a 50 to 90 foot cliff while trying to play this game.

You would think the game is well branded if people are willing to die for it.

Since its release on July 6th, ‘Pokémon Go’ has taken off like wildfire. For the past almost-two weeks, millions of these technology users have been utilizing their phones to walk around and collect virtual cartoon characters called Pokémon.

As of July 11th, the game had 21 million daily American users alone and the figures continue to climb. Pokémon Go is still being released internationally, the United Kingdom was able to begin downloading the app last Wednesday. The BBC even reports that registering new accounts is periodically inaccessible due to the high demand for the app.

The popularity of this sweeping phenomenon has surpassed previous bestseller apps, such as Candy Crush, and similar to the older favorites, Pokémon Go will likely have similar usage patterns.

While Pokémon Go has already trumped the amount of users Twitter has, it is only getting close to reaching the figures that Snapchat and Google Maps currently hold in the United States.

This trendy game may indeed exceed some of these giants, but who will be profiting off these millions of downloads?

Although Nintendo (TYO: 7974) is not even a full-owner of Pokémon Go, the stock has doubled since the game came out and now has a market capitalization of $37.83 billion.

A different private company, Niantic, is the developer of the game and is receiving portions of the profit, as well.

However, Niantic and Nintendo are not the only beneficiaries of Pokémon Go’s instant success. Niantic spun off of Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) in 2015 and in September of 2015, Google – alongside Nintendo – invested at least $20 million into Niantic.

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Christian DeHaemer

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Christian is the founder of Bull and Bust Report and an editor at Energy and Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor’s page.

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