Pokémon Go is the hottest new mobile game from Niantic, a new company spun out of Google/Alphabet and backed by Nintendo. It takes the well-known Pokémon universe of characters and puts it into a fun playable game based on augmented reality. The game was released on Android and iOS last week and is already causing quite a stir. It has rocketed up to the top of the app download charts and shows no signs of slowing down.
But there’s also some really weird stuff happening due to the games release. Take a look!
Nintendo Just Gained $7.5 Billion in Value
Yeah, you read that right. Hot on the heels of the Pokémon Go launch, Nintendo’s stock price jumped 9.3% last week and then another amazing 24.52% on Monday. I guess stock traders had a chance to play the game over the weekend and were impressed!
This much value creation on the launch of a single game might seem a bit absurd, but that’s nothing compared to some of the other crazy things happening following the release.
Robbers Are Using it as a Lure
According to police in the U.S. state of Missouri, armed robbers used Pokemon Go as a lure to trap unsuspecting players into secluded areas where they could be robbed at gunpoint.
The police noted that the robbers, aged 16-18, set up a Pokemon Go “beacon” that drew players to a specific secluded area and then attacked them. The subjects were charged with first degree robbery, which is a felony.
People Are Getting Hurt…and in Trouble
There are all kinds of reports showing up in forums and on Reddit where players are sharing stories of injuries incurred while playing the game. Although the game warns players to be aware of their surroundings, some people are so engrossed in the virtual world of the game that they’re not paying attention to the real world around them.
One user wrote in on Reddit to talk about how he slipped into a ditch, fractured a bone in his foot, and is now undergoing 6-8 weeks of recovery. It’s going to be hard to limp around and collect all those Pokemon in a cast. Be careful out there, folks!
Another popular story on Reddit followed the mis-adventures of one Pokémon Go player who got ensnared in the middle of a drug deal while wandering around outside late at night.
The Popularity of the Game is Crashing the Servers
Many popular games run into server problems when they have a popular launch, but Pokemon Go seems to be unrivaled.
As a result, the international rollout of the game has been paused, meaning that players in many EU countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands, are going to have to wait a little longer.
It’s More Popular than Porn
OK, well not exactly as popular, but according to Google Trends, interest in Pokémon Go in the United States has been consistently outpacing interest in porn in search terms. Curiously, they both seem to peak at the exact same time during the day.
Could it be that players in the US are trading one online addiction for another? Only time will tell.