“Pokemon Go” appears to have done something its predecessors on Game Boy and Nintendo DS could not — attract a diverse fan base to the Pokemon universe.
A survey of 1,000 players of the enormously popular augmented reality game by mobile market research firm MFour shows that minorities and women are getting into Pokemon through the app.
Thirty-four percent of respondents said they had never played a Pokemon game before, but that number is higher among certain groups. For 49% of African-American respondents and 40% of Latino respondents, “Pokemon Go” is their first Pokemon game.
That’s compared with 32% of Caucasian respondents and 31% of Asian respondents.
About one-third of respondents were minorities. In general, race or ethnicity have no effect on who plays video games, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center report.
Thanks to “Pokemon Go,” more women are getting into the franchise as well. Of the 500 female respondents, 47% said they had never played Pokemon before the new mobile game. Among male players, just 21% of respondents were playing Pokemon for the first time.
Pokemon’s move to new demographics could be good news for Nintendo, which owns a 32% stake in Pokemon Co., which licenses the Pokemon franchise.
Pokemon Go draws an overwhelmingly millennial crowd, with 83% of respondents aged 18 to 34.
Those who play the game aren’t breaking the bank for in-app purchases. Only 26% of respondents have spent on extra “Pokemon Go” features, 62% of whom have dropped $10 or less.