AS MILLIONS of player from across the globe download the latest Pokémon game, The News looks back on a franchise which has grown into a worldwide phenomenon.
Pokémon Go now has more daily active users than Twitter, with more than 25 million people logging on at peak times each day to play.
The game has now been downloaded more time than popular dating app Tinder, with the numbers growing by the day.
Scores of gamers have already been spotted at Mick’s Monster Burgers, on Portsdown Hill, playing Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go is the biggest mobile download game in US history.
In the space of just a few days, some gamers have trekked almost 30 miles while playing the mobile game.
The app has been linked to a number of accidents and car crashes in the United States.
An American woman found a dead body while she was looking for a Pokémon in a river near her home this week.
American police have also arrested four people after they were caught attempting to rob gamers at gun point after luring them to a Pokéstop.
Concerns have been raised about the app’s safety in the UK, too. The chief executive of the children’s charity NSPCC urged the app makers to adapt the game before yesterday’s nationwide release, warning that adults could use it as a way to prey on children.
Police in London yesterday gave a lighthearted warning to gamers to stay away from Twickenham Police Station saying it was not a Pokéstop.
Pokémon was created in 1995 and released Nintendo as two video games, Pokémon Red and Green for the Gameboy, in Japan. This was soon followed by Pokémon Red and Blue in 1998.
The games proved so popular that it spawned an animated series which first aired in the UK in 1998.
It is now in its 19th series and has more than 860 episodes.
To watch all the 22-minute episodes in a single, marathon sitting would take more than 13 days.
The Pokémon video game franchise has sold more than 260 million games worldwide.
The Pokémon trading card game has shipped more than 21.5 billion cards to 74 countries in 10 languages.
There have been 17 full-length Pokémon feature films
A total of 66 games have been released across nine different gaming devices.
The next two games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, are due to be released on Nintendo’s 3DS console on November 23.
There were originally 150 Pokémon that could be captured.
There are now a total of 721 of the little creatures that have been created.