In just 82 days, the popular location-based mobile game made $470 million.
According to a report from mobile intelligence group Newzoo, despite a slowdown in hype since the game first launched, it still makes roughly $2 million a day and sees nearly 700,000 downloads daily.
“Pokémon GO has opened our eyes in many ways,” Newzoo CEO Peter Warman said in a blog post.
“It has refreshed the top-grossing mobile game ranking that has been dominated by a small number of publishers and games for a long time. It has proven beyond a doubt that AR can be applied in ways that appeal to a mass audience. Equally important from a business perspective, it has given [developer] Niantic investor Google enormous insight and data that it can incorporate into its location-based advertising and services strategy. The fact that Pokémon GO has motivated kids and youngsters to spend more time outside is an additional bonus, even if that means they take their screens with them.”
With more than 550 million installs since its launched earlier this year, Pokémon GO has been a breakout hit in the mobile game space. The game has attracted 20 million new mobile gamers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and France, the report noted.
While the game has surged in popularity with players and businesses alike, it’s also become a prime destination for cybercriminals looking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.
Users have even become so enthralled with the game that they will provide full access to their Google accounts without even knowing it, essentially giving the mobile app full permission to see all of their email, search history and even payment card credentials — all in the name of advancing through the game.
This has turned the game itself into a hacker’s playground.
Hackers are tapping into the psychology of the competitive gamer, who wants to keep advancing through the game, by using classic phishing campaigns to trick users into mistakenly giving up their credentials to the game, email, payment info, etc.
Fraudsters often adverstise access to what looks like a leveled-up account or a bounty of in-game bonuses but is really just a ploy to collect and steal personal information.
Users even fall victim to malicious email campaigns promoting free Pokécoins (the virtual currency inside the game) that require filling out a form and providing data for a chance to “win,” which takes advantage of the urgent emotional response gamers have to get something free or get ahead in the game