DES MOINES, Iowa — Pokémon Go launched last week in the U.S. and already has a reported 7.5 million downloads.
The app takes the original Pokémon game and molds it using GPS technology to provide an augmented reality for gamers.
“It`s such a cool game and it`s such a cool concept, I`m surprised no one has thought of it earlier,” says Jacob Means of Des Moines.
The game, which first launched in the late 90’s, is back and reinvented.
“Our generation was so popular with the Pokémon franchise, and we kind of got away from it and now that it`s back, people our age and even a generation older are super psyched about it,” says Means.
The app takes users on their own Pokémon adventure and promotes walkability.
“It definitely pulls people outside and gets them moving, which is really exciting. Video games traditionally keep people inside, so with this it`s nice to be getting out and moving,” says Rhiley Binns of Des Moines.
Drake University professor Matthew Mitchell says the market valuation for Nintendo has increased almost $9 billion and counting.
“The sky’s the limit for this and Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative and interactive experiences,” says Mitchell.
Mitchell says he doesn’t expect the game to fizzle out anytime soon.
“I think this has some real legs and I don`t think it will be just next week or one month. I think people will be interacting with these characters for a long time.”
There are some safeguards built into the app. The game shouldn’t work when you’re traveling in a car, promoting users to use it only when out walking or biking.