For better or for worse, Nintendo and Niantic's augmented reality take on Pokemon has captured the hearts of mobile gamers and Pokemon fans worldwide, to the tune of tens of millions of users in the few short weeks since its launch, and with a decent number of countries in the world still unable to play. The game has proven popular and powerful enough to bring communities together, even with its thin launch-time feature set. More features are set to be added in the near future, but even now, the pull is strong enough to erode other games' user bases, time per user per day, and even profits. According to at least one person, Pokemon GO has even pulled them away from PC and console gaming mega-hit Overwatch.
On iOS, at least, Pokemon GO managed to break first week download records, mostly thanks to being tied to the Pokemon name and building a huge amount of hype prior to launch. It has stayed at the top of the charts in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store since its launch, boxing out the likes of Candy Crush Saga, Game of War: Fire Age, and Clash of Clans. With Pokemon GO, the franchise has broken free from its normal demographic of children and super hardcore players that know the games in and out and play competitively, and made the leap onto smartphones, something that's in most pockets in more developed countries. The boom has resulted in Nintendo's stock skyrocketing, though there was a bit of a fall after the initial hype in the market died down.
For some players, Pokemon GO has managed to push out traditional gamers, or even inspired them to quit their jobs to become full-time Pokemon trainers. It's even managed to spawn its own little micro-economy, based on trainer services and guarantees of rare Pokemon. Even among those who are a bit more casual, the lifestyle change can be noticeable. Tim Commandeur out of Toronto has reportedly spent $45 on Pokemon GO so far, dethroning his old $75, two-year flame, Clash of Clans. One T.J. Lee has seen the game cutting into his more traditional gaming time, reporting going days at a time without playing the aforementioned mega-hit shooter, Overwatch. Some are doubting that the game's star will continue to burn anywhere near this bright once the launch hype dies, but there is a chance that this full-on phenomenon could keep on rolling, as long as Niantic continues to roll out fresh content for it.