Pokémon Go is breaking through to popular culture in a way few video games have, so much so that it’s surpassed Donald Trump in search traffic, even during the middle of the Republican National Convention.
Note: All charts were taken from Google Trends at around 8:30PM CDT, July 20, 2016.
Donald Trump has been noted for his media savvy, which allowed him to get more cheap publicity than his Republican primary contenders and in turn helped him secure the nomination. But even though he was just crowned the nominee of one of the two most powerful political parties in the world, he still wasn’t able to beat the mobile game Pokémon Go in Google Trend’s search volume index, a metric of relative popularity:
Pokémon Go has been losing (relative) popularity over the course of this week, so I thought that there was a chance the Republican National Convention would give Trump a boost over the free-to-play hit, even though it’s so popular that my co-workers who haven’t played a video game since the arcade’s golden days are talking about it. And I included Hillary Clinton for comparison’s sake, since she will be the Donald’s main opponent on the path to the White House, and since Republicans have been repeatedly trashing her during the convention. Yet although Trump is front and center on the American political stage this week, and Republicans have been bringing up Clinton consistently, Pokémon Go has stayed on top. That’s certainly a credit to Pokémon Go’s staying power, even despite its ongoing server issues. That being said, there’s a clear downward trend for the game’s popularity, so whether it can continue to trend higher than someone as headline-grabbing as Trump remains to be seen.
To add some perspective, even though it trounced Trump, Pokémon Go hasn’t been the biggest topic of the past week. The mobile game was understandably overtaken in search traffic by both the truck attack on Bastille Day in Nice, France, and the failed coup attempt in Turkey, suggesting that even though it’s at the top in many people’s minds, it can be set aside, however briefly: