A number of investors have asked about the potential increase in End User Spend from Pokémon Go – the “fastest deploying mobile game of all time“.
Mobile has seen numerous waves of successful revenue generating entertainment products, each bigger than the last – Crazy Frog (tens of millions of dollars), Candy Crush (hundreds of millions of dollars), Clash of Clans (billions of dollars). The last two have been very successful in using Direct Carrier billing to collect payment. They form a significant part of Bango End User Spend every day and show continued signs of growth.
The team at Bango think that Pokémon Go will probably be a “tens of billions of dollars” game. Bango does not normally predict the success of content or apps – but in this case makes an exception, this is one amazing phenomenon! Here’s why:
(1) Powerful, experienced, successful backers of the game: Nintendo, world leader in mass market gaming, along with Google, the world’s leading technology company. The game developers are seasoned experts and the implementation of the game is superb.
(2) Addictive and social game play: Clash of Clans leveraged peer pressure, Pokémon collecting takes this to an entirely new level, applicable to all ages and cultures.
(3) Reasons to spend money: Whether its buying new outfits to show off as you wander around, purchasing extra balls to hold the Pokémon, or investing in Lures to bring the Pokémon out into catchable range, everything makes sense.
(4) Phenomenal ecosystem and future: Retailers will be clamoring, and presumably paying top dollar, to get Pokestops in their premises. There is a Pokestop at the Bango UK local hostelry The Portland Arms, and even though the game is not officially available in the UK, crowds are already assembling outside. Even more so for Pokémon Go Gyms which will presumably get thousands of visitors.
(5) Perfect fit to technology: Augmented reality is a compelling application of mobile technology, Pokémon Go plays into this perfectly and will drive uptake of 3D headsets / glasses. 4G/5G deployment around the world will be driven by Pokémon. Wearable tech like the Pokémon Go Plus wristband fits beautifully.
So that’s the theory, what about the evidence of spend?
In countries where Pokémon Go is deployed and where Bango powers the Direct Carrier Billing, Pokémon Go Coins are selling very well. The 1200 coin option ($10/£7.99) is a prime revenue generator.
Although it’s very early days, Bango has seen noticeable increases in overall spend, with no sign – yet – of declines in sales of the other top sellers. It seems like sales of other apps, mostly from their hardcore fans, are doing well, and music sales seem unaffected. At this stage Bango can be confident that Pokémon Go has the potential to really drive the spending of mobile users, supporting the Bango thesis that new forms of content and entertainment will drive End User Spend growth well ahead of underlying smartphone growth in the years to come.
Pokémon Go looks like it will be the next global mega-phenomenon, like a Hotmail, eBay, Google or Facebook.