Google reveals its most popular search terms of 2016, with Niantic's hugely successful mobile title Pokemon GO topping the list of the most searched terms worldwide.
At least from a popularity standpoint, Pokemon GO has been a tremendous success. The mobile title may have its critics, but it has been one of the biggest gaming phenomenons of 2016, capturing the imaginations of many gamers and picking up a prize at The Game Awards in the process. It's perhaps no surprise, then to learn that the game has been hitting the high marks in Google search statistics.
As it turns out, Pokemon GO is actually the most searched-for term globally for the year of 2016. The news comes courtesy of Google, which shared its yearly stats for interested internet users to see. The Niantic-developed title came out on top in terms of global searches, beating out the likes of iPhone 7, Donald Trump, Prince, and Powerball.
When it came to United States-specific searches, however, Pokemon GO was unable to take the top spot. Instead, the title only came in fourth, losing out to Powerball, Prince, and Hurricane Matthew - although it did earn more searches than slither.io, the popular free multiplayer title. Alongside the popularity of Pokemon GO, Nintendo also managed to get into another of Google's most searched lists, with both the Switch and the NES Classic Edition getting into the top ten for the US.
Further details surrounding the search stats of Pokemon GO can also be found by looking at the term itself. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the game saw its highest worldwide interest in June, where Pokemon GO truly staked its claim to be one of the most surprising video game success stories. Although interest then declined over time, there's still been enough searches to keep Pokemon GO on top.
The undeniable success of the game through its popularity has also led to plenty of commercial opportunities. Most recently, Niantic announced a partnership with Starbucks, turning thousands of coffee house locations into PokeStops. Even though the app has been free at entry, it's clear that Niantic and Nintendo have still been able to make a solid commercial success out of the game.
How to keep this popularity going, however, is another matter entirely. Thankfully, Niantic does seem to be adding additional features to Pokemon GO to keep it ticking along nicely. Most recently, this has come in the form of new Pokemon in the game, such as Togepi and Pichu. At the very least, Pokemon GO players will be kept occupied working out how to hatch these new Pokemon for a while - perhaps until even more features can be added.