Have you ever thought how enormous cost could be generated by the mobile application? Moreover, I am not thinking only about the cost of development… In most cases, we are saying that the mobile application succeeds when it is downloaded by an enormous number of people. However, nobody is talking about the other side of the medal. The same situation occurred with Pokémon Go.

Let’s start with good things. Only in Google Play this game has been download between 100 million and 500 million times. Moreover, you will find over 9,7 million of reviews. Both numbers are still growing. It is estimated that development cost of this game was on about 1 million USD level.

This quite simple game has beat all records:

  • has been the most downloaded game in the first week after release in Apple Store
  • passed 50 million downloads in Google Play in the shortest time
  • achieved 500 million revenue only in 60 days
  • the fastest game that beat 1 billion USD revenue – in a half year
  • daily revenue is between 1,5 million and 2,5 million USD
  • achieved 58,2 billion USD revenue in 2016, planned to achieve 76,5 billion USD in 2017

Results of this game are awe-inspiring. Please compare it to other top players:

It would be great if I achieve a few percent of those results.

Even more, this game involved restaurant, pub and other similar places’ owners in buying some items from the game and luring pokémon to those places. They tried to gather pokémon’s hunters in those places.

However, there is also another side of the medal. In most cases nobody talks about social costs caused by users of such games or applications. Moreover, I am not thinking about such simple costs as energy. Please try to count in your mind how many times have you spotted people that were focused only on their smartphone and were hunting for pokémons. It is dangerous. Moreover, you can also spot drivers that are doing the same. I will not mention city infrastructure or plants damages caused by people that are chasing pokémons.

In USA two scientists – Mara Faccio and John McConnell – tried to estimate those costs. They analyzed accidents that happened in Tippecanoe country in the USA. They discovered that in 148 first days after launching Pokémon Go 286 additional accidents have occurred in comparison to previous similar period. From this number, 134 accidents have been caused by people that were using Pokémon Go. They also attempted to estimate the cost of such situation. It was difficult. It is effortless to estimate the cost of damaged things or treatment of injured people. However, how you would estimate death of two people? Finally, they estimated that cost related to Tippecanoe country was between 5,2 million and 25,5 million of USD. They also approximated those cost to the whole USA which will be between 2 billion and 7 billion USD. Please remember that they provided only numbers for the USA and only for first 148 days after the game première.

Can you imagine costs that have been paid around the world?

Is it worth to play this game?