Friday, September 9, 2016

Unconventional Side Income: Professional Pokemon Go Player

A lot of people are actually not taking Pokemon Go seriously. Which is funny considering how unique and different this immensely popular game is compared to previous contenders, like Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. The game mechanics are entirely different, but yet people like to talk about it as if it is just another game.

When the game first came out, I was actually in the works with a friend about making a local web portal for Pokemon Go, but neither of us had the tech skills to do it properly. I was always thinking what is the best way that someone can monetize on this trend, but for some reason the most simple and basic way of trading time and putting in hard work escaped me.

Although I had seen this video circulating online, it's only after the New Paper published an article about it that made me think about it again.

At first glance, this sounds like a joke doesn't it? A professional Pokemon Go player? He should go and get a "real job", right? Well, I beg to differ. This is a job and he's making money from it.

At $25 an hour, he has to potential to be pulling in buckets. This means that his maximum capacity is 48 (12 hours x 4 devices) hours and his maximum billables is $1200 a day (48 manhours x $25). He has a "Buy 8 Get 1 Free" deal, which means that you pay for 8 hours but you get 9 hours instead. I doubt that he has superb scheduling skills, my best guess is that in a normal day he manages to sell this package to 1 person. That puts his daily earnings at about $200 a day, which is what he said he makes a night. His actual earnings could be somewhere in the middle as long as he has customers constantly taking up his package.

His did mention that he can make $200-300 a night, while some days it is nothing. If we assume a pretty low average of $100 a day (1 package every 2 days), that's $2000 a month playing video games (if he had said 5 figure sum instead of 4, I would be inclined to estimate a higher amount). Sure, it isn't a snazzy high paying job, but consider his utilization rate. If he is able to drum up demand, he could be EASILY look at $8k a month if he sells just 2 packages a day.

I doubt that his demand is so high constantly and that this game will last so long. However, in the short run, isn't that just amazing, mathematically?

And he takes it seriously. He brings down a foldable table, chairs and powerbanks and set-ups his shop to play all day. There are people who work in "real jobs" that are much less hardworking. I don't get all the online hatred about him monetizing his time and skills.

Some detractors will say "THAT ISN'T HOW THE GAME IS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED". Well, screw that. This is the free market. If money changes hands, there is a demand. Plenty of games can be played how they are not supposed to be played. The AFK troller in DOTA? The team killer in any FPS game? The 1 unit build in RTS?

How about the guy that says "I invest by buying insurance policies" (lololol). Or the one that goes "I invest by rolling my fixed deposits perpetually". Sure, they might not be doing it optimally, or even in the standard definition of what most people would consider investing, but many people just shrug it off with the "well, if that's what you wanna do, then you can do it I guess".

So why can't that mentally port over to games?

Personally, I'm impressed by this guy's business idea. He has the skills. He gathered and bought all his tools (device, powerbanks, "office"). He identified a gap in the market and he came in to fill that gap. He even successfully marketed his services to people overseas who require such a service.

If he isn't an entrepreneur, then I don't know what is.


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  2. The guy truly is an entrepreneur. I have read comments that question how long can the Pokemon craze last and about its decline etc, however, that is the way it is, no business last forever, he is making the best use of the current situation.

    1. Hi Amos,

      Agreed that no business last forever. Change is definitely needed, or else competitors that can just duplicate your services / product will just undercut you and push you out.

      While this opportunity is still around, it should definitely be milked if he is in the position to do so!

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