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Survey Gives First Systematic Study of Pokemon Go Players

Pokemon Survey 15

Here are seven insights from the first systematic survey of Pokemon Go players in the United States:

  • The augmented-reality game is making America a friendlier place.
  • It’s carving out common ground between the races and the sexes.
  • It’s giving couch potatoes a welcome reason to go outdoors.
  • It overwhelmingly appeals to the Millennials who grew up on Pokemon.
  • It’s a time-eating addiction for some, but not most.
  • People love that it’s free; just a few are spending for extra features.
  • It isn’t going away any time soon. 

The Numbers

Promotes Connectedness:

  • 74% of respondents said they prefer playing with others over playing alone – even though nearly as many – 70% — consider themselves introverts rather than extroverts.
  • 52% said they’ve made new friends or acquaintances playing Pokemon Go.
  • 54% said they started playing partly because friends were playing.

Minorities Are Jumping on Board

34% of all respondents said they never had played a Pokemon game before. But even more African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are embracing the franchise for the first time because of the new app. 

  • 49% of African Americans said Pokemon Go is their first Pokemon game.
  • 40% of Hispanics/Latinos said the new app was their introduction to Pokemon.
  • 32% of Caucasians said they are newcomers to Pokemon.
  • 31% of Asians said the same.

Women, Too

  • 47% of females said they’d never played Pokemon before getting the new app.
  • 21% of males said the same thing.
  • 50% of respondents were male, 50% were female.

It’s a Millennial Thing

  • 83% of respondents were ages 18 to 34.
  • 14% were 35 and older.
  • 2% were 13 to 15 years old (the youngest bracket surveyed).

Why Play? Friends, Fresh Air, Familiarity – and it’s Free

  • 58% got the app “because I like the game encouraging me to go outside.”
  • 52% said, “because it’s free.”
  • 50% said, “because my friends started playing it.”
  • 45% said, “nostalgia.”

(respondents could pick among 7 possible reasons, choosing all that applied to them)

Time-Consuming? Depends Who You Ask

  • 50% said they spend no more than 60 minutes a day with the app.
  • 20% said they spend less than 30 minutes a day.
  • 28% said they spend one to two hours daily.
  • 22% spend more than two hours a day.

Not Big Spenders

  • 74% said they’ve only played for free, spending nothing.
  • 26% said they’ve spent on extra Pokemon Go features.
  • 90% of the spenders said they’ve spent $20 or less.
  • 62% of the spenders said they’ve spent $10 or less.
  • 2% said they’ve spent more than $100.

Looks Like It’s Here to Stay

  • 71% said they think Pokemon Go will be a “long-term success.”
  • 29% said the game will be “just a passing phase.”
  • 69% said they expect to play for “a long time.”
  • 12% said they plan to play “for the rest of my life.”
  • 16% said “not much longer.”
  • 2% said “I’ve already stopped.”

Pikachu Has Competition

  • 13.6% said their favorite Pokemon Go character is Eevee.
  • 9.2% picked Charmander.
  • 8.6% picked Squirtle.
  • 7.8% picked Pikachu, the most widely-known Pokemon.
  • 2.6% picked Bulbasaur.
  • Six other Pokemon were favored by 1% to 2% of players.

 Strange But True

With reports of Pokemon Go players landing in some strange or even dangerous situations, we asked respondents, “what is the craziest thing you or someone you know has done to catch a Pokemon?” Answers included:

  • “Ran into traffic”
  • “Walked into a tree”
  • “Walked into a pond”
  • “Saw someone wade into a lake”
  • “Kayaked to an island”
  • “Climbed an electrical tower”
  • “Girl walked into a men’s room”
  • “Went to the beach at 3 a.m.”
  • “Wandered around the apartment building in pjs”
  • “Woke up at 4 a.m. and walked for five hours, until I had to be picked up”

Methodology

The survey was carried out with MFour Mobile Research’s Surveys on the Go® app, combined with its App Tracker capability, which allows MFour to monitor which apps the Android users among its panel of more than a million survey respondents have downloaded.  Data reflects the geographic and demographic population distribution of the U.S. The survey was conducted July 13, fielded to the mobile devices of Android users who’ve downloaded Pokemon Go. Results reflect data from 1,000 completed and validated responses. Respondent demographics: 50% male, 50% female; 65.6% Caucasian; 13.4% Hispanic-Latino; 7.6% African American; 6.8% Asian; 1.6% Native American-Alaskan; 0.9% Middle Eastern; 0.6% Pacific Islander; 3.5% Other.

Photo: one of many received by MFour from survey-takers in our Pokemon Go study.