What’s Up in Gamification #23: Pokémon Go Go Go or Pokémon Gone?

December has been a big – if not altogether positive – month for Pokémon GO in the media, with two major business partnerships launched in the US; a much awaited – and all the more disappointing – update; the official launch in India; publication of research findings pointing to overstated health benefits; and finally, the announcement by Google that it was the top most popular search term of 2016.


Whether or not “Pokémon GO Was Always A Huge Disappointment”, as argued by Erik Kain (Forbes), most fans will agree with Cecilia D’Anastasio’s (Kotaku) analysis and conclusion  that its “new update just isn’t enough”.

The December update and the latest partnerships turning about 7,800 Starbucks and 10,500 Sprint locations into PokéStops and Gyms were seen as efforts seeking to revive interest and engagement, just like the closely following, belated release in India on December 13 (likened by one Twitter user to “ordering a pizza with delivery time 5-7 business days” 🙂

These efforts coincided with the release of the widely reported findings of a U.S. survey by Harvard researchers showing “Pokémon GO fitness gains were short-lived”. Adding to the negative sentiment, Motherboard’s “The Most Dangerous Places To Play Pokémon Go” is about the interactive website created by Aizman Law Firm. It is based on data about criminal activity in 5 major U.S. cities cross-referenced with PokéStops and Gyms in these locations.

Whatever the real-world dangers of the augmented reality game, with 500 million downloads and $600 million in revenues, this summer’s global sensation and Google’s top trending search term of 2016  made history in more than one way. Pokémon GO not only pinned AI onto the mainstream map almost overnight, but  also opened up great new horizons for gamification in the eyes of marketers and business owners, as well as NGO activists, urban designers and city planners all over the world.

It seems only  fitting to conclude with the 146 statistics compiled in this infographic and “parents’ guide to Pokémon Go”.


  • Top Google search trends of 2016: Pokémon Go beats Trump


  • ‘Pokémon GO’ Was Always A Huge Disappointment


  • Pokémon Go’s New Update Just Isn’t Enough


  • Pokémon GO fitness gains were short-lived


  • The Most Dangerous Places To Play ‘Pokemon Go’


  • 146 Pokémon Go Statistics (Dec 2016)



Featured image: pokemon.com



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