The world of mobile gaming can be more than a little cutthroat. Usually, when a game jumps into the spotlight, players find a bit less time and motivation to play other games, which ends up turning into less motivation to pay for in-game items in other games. Thanks to their worldwide partnerships in building payment portals, Japanese data company and wireless carrier DoCoMo is in a unique position to keep an eye on that sort of trend, and something interesting is happening. According to DoCoMo's data sources in Europe, Pokemon GO is essentially flipping that trend on its head, or so it seems.
As is plain to see in the chart below, when Pokemon GO entered the mobile market, spending on competitors was at an average level. When Pokemon GO spiked, spending on competitors took only a very small hit at first, then immediately bounced back, with all but one company measured exceeding their old amount. This indicates an overall increased interest in mobile gaming, and thus spending on mobile games, among users. Dubbed the "Pokemon GO Effect", the upward trend seems to average a 10% increase across the board for all of the mobile gaming companies measured in the chart. While they did note the effect and how it managed to slip their expectations that Pokemon GO would be taking money from competitors' pockets, DoCoMo Digital did not say exactly why they think that this has happened.
Interestingly, DoCoMo did not see a similar trend when other big-name games initially launched. This means that there are a few potential reasons for Pokemon GO flipping the normal trend in on itself, and they mostly involve the fact that Pokemon GO became a massive hit practically overnight. The game's insane and sudden success, one possibility goes, lead to a huge number of people enabling carrier billing so that they could more easily get their fix of Lucky Eggs and Pokeballs, which opened the door for them using it with less thought than a traditional purchase in other games. Others contend that Pokemon GO may have reignited gamers' passion for the mobile platform, in some cases, and when recent problems made the game less than ideal to play, that passion simply shifted to other venues. Whatever the case, it's quite clear that Pokemon GO's launch and run so far have been extremely unusual for the mobile market.