Pokemon GO, the wildly popular augmented reality game for Android and iOS, has been a huge hit, earning an impressive amount of revenue in a very short time. And as it turns out, it’s helping other companies become more prosperous as a side effect of its amazing success.
Mad Hatter’s Ice Cream, in Anacortes, WA, has had a difficult time generating business lately, and at one point owner Gary Dear even had to temporarily close the business due to illness. When he reopened the ice cream shop, he was met with an unexpected influx of business. The increase in popularity can be directly attributed to Pokemon GO. Across the street from Mad Hatter’s are a number of PokeStops, which allow players to collect items used to capture Pokemon. This draws large numbers of individuals and groups to his location, where they often end up stopping to enjoy a cold treat on a hot afternoon. Although his business has been struggling for some time now, this increase in traffic could stand to turn things around for him quickly. This overnight popularity comes as a pleasant surprise; Dear said: "never in my wildest dreams did I ever expected it to end up like this". While some companies have partnered with the game’s developers to create sponsored PokeStops as a means of generating more business, Mad Hatter’s just happened to be in the right place at the right time to benefit from the PokeStops nearby.
It is no surprise that Pokemon GO’s tremendous success is spreading to other businesses. In the short time since the game was released, it has already made over $200 million, with more daily users than some of the most popular mobile apps, including Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The game has been downloaded over 100 million times, so it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. This story is a strong example of the enormous impact the game is having, not only on its players but on businesses as well. Pokemon GO has, unfortunately, been associated with some problematic circumstances in the past, such as players putting themselves in unsafe situations in an effort to “catch ‘em all”, so it’s nice to see that the unintended effects it has can be positive as well, and hopefully there are other small businesses out there that may get a shot in the arm as a result of having PokeStops located near them.