Gotta cash 'em all: Businesses bank on Pokemon Go fever

Gotta cash 'em all: Businesses bank on Pokemon Go fever

Following the launch of Pokemon Go in Singapore on Saturday, a slew of malls and attractions across the island are cashing in on the mobile game's popularity in a variety of ways.

SINGAPORE: Following the launch of Pokemon Go in Singapore on Saturday, a slew of malls and businesses across the island are cashing in on the mobile game's popularity.

On Monday (Aug 8), City Developments Limited announced that it would release "lures" - used to attract Pokemon to a particular location - at six PokeStops around City Square Mall on National Day on Tuesday from 1pm to 3.30pm.


City Square Mall will release lures at these six PokeStops on Aug 9 from 1pm to 3.30pm. (Photos: City Developments Limited)

The PokeStops - where Pokemon trainers can collect items such as eggs and Pokeballs - will be located at:

  • Angsana Tree, at City Green Outdoor Park
  • Butterfly Garden sign, at City Green Outdoor Park
  • City Square Mall's Mini Fountain (facing City Square residences)
  • Green Roof sign, at City Green Outdoor Park
  • New World Gate (entrance to City Green Outdoor Park)
  • The Wind, Her Rain and Cloud sculpture, at City Green Outdoor Park

City Square Mall is the latest to jump on the bandwagon after ION Orchard announced over the weekend that it would release Pokemon Go lures at the mall.

On Saturday, ION Orchard said it would release "hundreds of lures" from Aug 6 to 21. "Players in the vicinity will see this through an in-game alert, and can flock to the location to capture their desired Pokemon," it said in a statement to the media.

ION Orchard added that Pokemon trainers would receive rewards such as a free cup of pearl milk tea if they took a screenshot of a Pokemon Go capture at the mall and uploaded the photo to Instagram with the hashtag #IONgraphy.

In a statement, ION Orchard's management said it saw brisk shopper traffic over the weekend, many of whom were playing the mobile game.

Resorts World Sentosa is running a similar promotion. It said on Monday that it would plant lures and roll out admission discounts for Pokemon trainers from Aug 9 to 14. More than 70 PokeStops have been designated around the resort, it said, and RWS plans to release lures at various times throughout the day inside Universal Studios Singapore and the SEA Aquarium.

 Universal Studios Singapore. (File photo: Alvin Chong)

Universal Studios Singapore. (File photo: Alvin Chong)

"Lures will also be released outside the two attractions at popular PokeStops such as Festive Walk, the Lake of Dreams water feature, and the Forum at Basement 1," RWS said, adding that it is offering a 10 per cent discount for admission to the SEA Aquarium and Universal Studios Singapore with every five Pokemon found at the resort within an hour.

On Saturday, developer CapitaLand - which runs malls such as Bugis Junction and Junction8 - announced incentives for members of its rewards programme who snap screenshots of a Pokemon at any of CapitaLand's properties - including shopping malls, serviced residences, offices and homes - and upload the screenshot on Instagram. They have to also follow @CapitaLand on Instagram, hashtag #PokemonSTAR in the caption, and add the CapitaLand property in the location tag, the developer said.

Ride-hailing platform Grab threw its hat in the ring on Monday evening. To drive consumers to use its service to hunt down elusive Pokemon, it has created a Pokemon Go map of Singapore. Grab said the map marks rumoured and verified Pokemon spawn points, Pokemon nests, gyms - where users can battle it out - as well as access discounts for rides to special landmarks.

Meanwhile, restaurant chain Fish & Co tried to hook customers by offering Pokemon trainers a discount. In a Facebook post on Saturday, it offered a 10 per cent discount to PokeMasters at level 5 and above. The promotion ended on Sunday.

TURNING PLAYERS INTO PATRONS

In the augmented reality mobile game, Pokemon appear in real-world locations, and players walk around trying to catch the rarest and strongest creatures on their mobile devices as they encounter them.

Industry experts Channel NewsAsia spoke to said with the game's current popularity, using paid content such as lures could attract crowds.

"It remains to be seen how much those gamers are actually stopping to buy things. But I think these are good methods and probably much more cost-effective for retailers than using traditional discounts and sale pricing," said Mr Oliver Wilkinson, strategy director at PwC Singapore.

Analysts pointed out that as players congregate in central locations, businesses could use this as an opportunity to reach out and turn players into patrons.

"People are just gravitating towards certain locations, but they're not necessarily (spending money)," said IDC Asia Pacific's vice president of client devices research, Bryan Ma. "If we're already starting to get people in Singapore who are gravitating to certain locations - even in MRT stations - how can merchants that are physically at those locations monetise and cash in on that?"

Additional reporting by Patrick John Lim.

Source: CNA/dl