More than 500 million downloads on Android, more than 12 million reviews (which is nonsense) in the Play Store, more than 1,100 reviews in the App Store and 10 years dominating the mobile gaming scene. We talk about pouwhich we could consider the tamagotchi of the new age.
In a time when we have games with console graphics, literally the case of titles like Genshin Impact or call of duty mobileit seems unbelievable that something as simple as a game of caring for a potato is still of the most downloaded each month, but there it is. Today we are going to focus a bit on this phenomenon and see if it is an isolated case or not.
Simpler than a potato. Literally
Paul Salameh, who is the name of the father of the creature, launched Pou on August 5, 2012 as a free game on the Play Store -if you haven’t played it, you can download here-. A lot has happened since then, so much so that the game was also launched in a BlackBerry store that few people remember today. And, of course, it was also released on iOS –here the download in the App Store-.
Although little by little the game grew, the truth is that the base has remained intact since then. Pou is a potato -and the nickname that Paul Salameh had- that we must take care of. To do this, we have to “go” to different rooms in the house to feed or bathe him, for example, but we must also play with him.
Through extremely simple mini-games, in addition to entertaining Pou, we get coins with which to buy in-game content as accessories both for our potato and for the different rooms in your home.
And there is the key and monetization both on Android (where the game is free to start) and on iOS (where it costs 2.49 euros), since the coins can be obtained or playing those video games… or paying for she.
Microtransactions range from 2,000 coins for 1.19 euros (you can also buy single potions for 1.19 euros) up to packages of 125,000 coins for 29.99 euros and it is a source of income that Salameh continues to have because, thanks to both micropayments and paid downloads from the App Store the money keeps coming in.
I can’t believe this game dominates the rankings, but it does
If we look at the consultant’s estimates Sensor Towerwe see that Pou continues to be one of the most popular titles every month on iOS (compatible with both iPad and iPhone) and Android, where the terrain is much more complicated.
If we take a look at the graphics of the consultancy in iOS segmenting the region, we can see that in Spain it is one of the most downloaded applications each month:
And on Android, more of the same, although in that aspect it is somewhat lower on the download list due to the tremendous competition in the Play Store.
But hey, beyond going to these graphs, which are still estimates, I wanted to take my Android to see where Pou is currently in the popularity ranking.
It appears in position 87 of the most popular above a classic like Uno and ahead of titans like Brawl Stars, Mario Kart Tour or the titans clash royale and Pokémon Go. There is nothing.
In the end, these rankings are not 100% reliable, but they do allow us to have an idea of the popularity of applications and, as you can see, Pou is still in good shape (for a potato with 10 years behind him).
The charm of the “simple” above the graphics and sophistication
Now…why? Well, the game is simple, very simple. Doesn’t require much attentionwe can play when we have a moment, we see continuous progression because there are always accessories to buy and we are not going to fool ourselves, the Tamagotchi effect is there.
With the advent of mobile phones, Tamagotchi stopped being so popular. In fact, Bandai tried to regain some of the attention by launching its virtual pet on mobile with Tamagotchi Lifebut Pou was already the big and tasty potato that you find by surprise in the bag.
Bandai could not with a very young Lebanese developerbut like everything, fashions return and after years in the dry dock, Tamagotchi recently returned with considerable success.
The key? Not launching only the classic toy -which also-, but partnering with renowned brands. Thus, they launched the Tamagotchi from PAC-Man, from Jurassic World, from Kimetsu No Yaiba, from Toy Story, from Star Wars on the occasion of R2-D2 and the charming Tamagotchi from Grogu (although they are 35 euros).
And nothing, Pou has been with us for 10 years, but we are sure that he will continue with us for a long, long time. Can you imagine that Bandai ends up launching a Tamagotchi de Pou?