When Pokémon GO released last week, it was clear that it was going to be big. Within a few days, the game had more active daily users than Twitter. With successes like that, it was inevitable that companies would figure out a way to take advantage of the popularity of the game. As the first full week of the game progressed, we saw lots of companies find unique ways to get involved.
Though Nintendo is the company behind the game, they certainly know how to use its successes to their advantage. First, they released to pre-order the Pokémon GO Plus, a connected device that allows you to know when a PokéStop, Gym or Pokémon are near, without the need to have your phone in your hand and burning battery. Within hours, the device's entire planned initial production had been pre-ordered, leaving the company with the need to end the pre-orders.
Following their initial success, the company also announced another piece of hardware: The NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of the original NES console, complete with 30 NES games pre-installed. The console will release November 11 for $60.
In addition to killing battery, the game also eats up data, though not nearly as quickly. In response, T-Mobile has announced that they will be offering 1 year of free Pokémon GO data, as part of their T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion. Starting July 19 and running through August 9, if you launch the T-Mobile Tuesdays app on your phone, you can sign up for the free year of data. You can also get a $15 Lyft ride during the same period, seemingly to get you to and from a Gym without having to actually walk.
The world's defacto "where should I eat" platform has gotten in on the Pokémon hunting by adding "PokéStop Nearby" to its list of filterable attributes. Obviously this means that people will need to add whether or not there is a PokéStop nearby to a location, but as the desire to find these landmarks increases, people will be more than willing to contribute to the database. As someone who recently ate dinner at a place with a connected PokéStop with someone else who was playing, I can definitely see the allure of knowing before you decide.
These parks have an unbelievable number of PokéStops and Gyms on their properties. Looking at a screenshot of the park maps, you can almost not see the ground in many areas of both parks. On Saturday, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the parent company for both brands, ran a 4 hour promotion in which the company added lures to their PokéStops every 30 minutes as they expired. It caused the entire park to be overrun with Pokémon for the entirety of the event.
Do you know of other companies taking advantage of the popularity of the game? Tell us about them in the comments!
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