Businesses perk up as Pokémon Go craze hits Poland

The worldwide phenomenon of the Pokémon mobile game does not omit Poland. Warsaw and the rest of the country, after being bombarded with news reports on the new game, hopped on the bandwagon.

The launch of the game in Poland took place on the 17th of July, three days after the app premiered in the UK and eleven days after the worldwide launch that covered the US, Australia and New Zealand. The game is available for free in the Polish AppStore and Google Play.

The colourful creatures the gamers try to track down may be found on such locations as the Palace of Culture and Science – Warsaw’s most famous landmark, or the Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków – residency of Polish kings and queens. Media reported in horror that the game could be – and was –  played in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Even though the game is free to download, it does not mean one cannot find a way to get some money out of it. People gain profits from assisting the players in numerous ways, from selling Pokémon Go caps and t-shirts, through various gadgets that supposedly make catching Pokémons easier, to trading Pokémon accounts or offering such services as Pokémon catching or egg hatching.

One of Polish portals selling insurance didn’t think twice and quickly approached gamers with a specially designed insurance pack for Pokémon trainers. It includes third-party insurance, accident insurance and insurance against breaking or losing your mobile device. The price? 30 PLN a month.

As the game is known for draining phone batteries, users turn to powerbanks to charge up their phones on the go. As Ceneo, Poland’s leading price comparison site, revealed, its sale of the electronic device has spiked 300 percent.

That is not all. On July 31st, Warsaw will host Vistula Pokémon GO Cup, Pokémon catching championships. The event is organized by a private school and the main prize is free tuition for one year.

Pokémon GO is officially the most popular mobile game in the US. It has been downloaded from Google Play over 1,680,000 times. The overnight success, which took everyone by surprise, had substantial impact on the share price of Nintendo. It increased by 50% after the game was launched.

Now, everybody is waiting for Pokémon Go Plus, a wristband that alerts its user about Pokémon somewhere nearby. The release is planned for September 2016.