Poke Balls, the Pokedex, trainers here to stay: Analysts evaluate Pokemon GO

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(AP/FUSE) — In the ever-changing landscape of pop culture, it is often compulsory for brands to discern between fads and long-term, behavioral shifts.

When something as immense and sudden as the Pokemon GO craze of the summer of 2016 arrives, it’s easy to dismiss it as a fleeting mania. But now nearly a year old, it appears that Poke Balls, the Pokedex, and Combat Power are going to be around for a while.

It all started on July 6, 2016, when Pokemon GO launched. By July 13, it had 28 million ”trainers” (aka daily users). As expected, after its initial explosive growth, those numbers steadily declined.

But now Pokemon GO has leveled off and found its core user base. According to comScore, Pokemon GO is averaging around 5 million trainers daily.

A second version was just released that includes 80 new monsters and a host of retail advertisers who make up the location-based ”Pokestops.” At Pokestops, retailers make special offers while trainers hunt Pokemon characters around their businesses.

Consumer research this month by youth marketing agency Fuse shows Pokemon GO is likely to continue its successful run:

  • 40% of consumers who started playing Pokemon GO when it launched still consider themselves fans and play at least occasionally now
  • Pokemon GO’s success is in part due to its appeal to a broad range of ages; older Millennials now in their 30’s reference its nostalgia and often mention its original Nintendo Game Boy format, while younger Gen Z love its physical, ”active” nature
  • Over half of the trainers we surveyed have a positive view of the sponsored Pokestops (where they are encouraged to visit), while 35% indicate they regularly visit these locations

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