Retailers cash in on Pokémon GO craze hitting 35 countries

CCTV News

Retailers cash in on Pokémon Go craze hitting 35 countries

The new mobile game Pokémon GO has become more than an app — it’s an economy, the Pokéconomy. With Pokémon GO mania sweeping the world, retailers are looking to in on the action by attracting players into their establishments. Some have found ways to make real money from the augmented reality game.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

Retailers cash in on \"Pokémon Go\" craze hitting 35 countries

Retailers cash in on \"Pokémon Go\" craze hitting 35 countries

It’s been called the “Pokéconomy.” With Pokémon Go mania sweeping the world, retailers are looking to get in on the action by attracting those players into their establishments. Those that play it right have found ways to make real money from the augmented reality game. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

L’inizio’s Pizza Bar in Queens, New York has become the poster child of the Pokéconomy. It was one of the first restaurants in the city to harness the Pokémon GO craze to draw traffic to its establishment.

A few days after Nintendo released the game in the United States, Thomas Lattanzio, L’inizio owner, went on the app and bought so-called “lure modules,” beacons that attract Pokémon. It costs less than $1 for a 30-minute lure. Lattanzio said the impact was instant.

Lattanzio spent a total of $110 in lure modules. Six days later, his transactions had increased by 75 percent.

In less than a week, Pokémon GO accumulated roughly 21 million daily active users in the U.S., making it the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. Businesses of all sizes are trying to figure out how to attract players in a variety of ways.

Some are offering discounts and coupons to Pokémon GO players. Others are offering gifts cards to people who tweet a picture of a Pokémon in their establishment.

Marketing experts like Ari Zoldan said this is just the beginning of a growing marketing trend. Many believe it’s just a question of time before Niantic, the game’s developer, starts offering retailers and restaurants deals on lure modules that could bring in more Pokémon GO foot traffic.

For now, gamers don’t seem to mind being a marketing target, and restaurant owners like Lattanzio are hoping that playing while eating becomes the new norm.


Pokémon GO craze causes real world dangers

Hunting for Pokémon has proven to be problematic. From frantic searches through cemeteries to running into traffic, there are new warnings for Pokémon GO players.

CCTV America’s Mike Walter has more.

Pokémon Go craze causes real world dangers

Pokémon Go craze causes real world dangers

The hunt for Pokémon has proven to be problematic. From frantic searches through cemeteries to running into traffic, there are new warnings for Pokémon Go players. CCTV America’s Mike Walter has more.

Police have said reports of people playing Pokémon GO and ending up in a dangerous situation are becoming all-too-familiar. In Auburn, New York, a 28-year-old crashed head-on into a tree while trying to “catch them all.”

“He told the officers, ‘you’re going to laugh at me,’ because they asked him how it happened, and he said, ‘I was playing the Pokémon GO game,'” Shawn Butler, Auburn Police Department chief, said.

Players looking for Pokémon in Pennsylvania searched in a cemetery, but didn’t notice signs saying the gates closed at night. They were locked in and police had to come bail them out.

There has even been a shooting involving Pokémon GO players. In Florida, two teens were roaming a neighborhood late at night, and a homeowner mistook them for burglars. He ended up shooting at them as they tried to leave in their car.

Police said this raises serious concerns about trespassing and playing the game where perhaps it shouldn’t be played, which has included the memorial at the former Nazi death camp in Auschwitz. The museum staff are asking visitors to not play the game on the property.


Scott Schober discusses the Pokémon GO craze

For more on the pros and cons of Pokémon GO, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Scott Schober, the president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, a consulting firm for the telecommunications industry.