Pokémon Go is bigger than sex in the UK (on Google)

Playing Pokémon Go is a lot like having sex. It happens in a public place, with a group of strangers holding phones, fighting animals.

Pokémon Go is bigger than sex in the UK (on Google)

Doesn’t sound like sex to you? Whatever, prude. Regardless, it does seem to be more popular, at least according to Google search data for the past few days in the UK. pokemon_go_sex

(Above: Google Trends data for Pokemon Go vs Sex, for the last 30 days, in the UK)

Unlike the UK, search for ‘sex’ still leads over ‘Pokemon Go’ when the search data is broadened to the entire world. Make of that what you will.pokemon_go_sex_2

(Above: Google Trends data for Pokemon Go vs Sex, for the last 30 days, across the world)

Pokémon Go may not be officially released in Japan or the UK, but its success in the US has led to shares in Nintendo leaping by almost a quarter in Tokyo on Monday.

The augmented-reality game, which involves players roaming their real-life surroundings to catch and battle virtual monsters, has already been downloaded by millions of users. It has more Android installations than dating app Tinder, and is edging on overtaking Twitter’s daily active users.

Nintendo’s shares surged around 25% at the start of the week, after rises on Thursday and Friday last week. The jump will be a welcome change for Nintendo’s stock, which has languished recently after concerns about the company’s future direction and the commercial failure of the Wii U. Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming, Miitomo, gained a cult following, but wasn’t the runaway success some were hoping for.

Pokémon Go, however, is positioned to be the global sensation of the summer. It is slated to roll out in Japan in the coming days, and after some delays should be officially making its way to the UK and the rest of Europe soon. Whether a few months of popularity is enough to translate to long-term profit remains to be seen.

“If we were talking about its next generation console becoming the core platform for gamers, then that would be something to get excited about – but at the moment, this alone is not enough,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, in a note to Reuters.

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