For Olympic gymnast Kohei Uchimura, his Pokemon GO addiction didn’t just consume his time, but it took money from his bank account as well.
He’s not alone in spending some real world money on the free to play title by any means, but in Uchimura’s case, it wasn’t willingly spent. The gymnast was attending a pre-Olympics training camp last week, where he booted up Pokemon GO on this downtime to try and fill out his Pokedex. He only downloaded the game at the behest of his teammates and found himself enamored with the Pokemon GO experience.
Unbeknownst to Uchimura though, he was racking up a huge phone bill courtesy of constant roaming data charges, to the tune of $4,954 dollars (via USA Today).
“500,000 yen ($4,954),” Uchimura told Kyodo News on Tuesday, shaking his head with embarrassment.” His teammate, Kenzo Shirai, described Uchimura’s mood at lunch after he found out, saying “He looked dead at the team meal that day.”
The story ends on a high note, however, as after discussing the situation with his phone carrier, they offered to reduce the rate to a flat one of $30 a day. Sure he’s still out some money, but it is a far cry from just under $5000 dollars.
“I really lucked out,” Uchimura said”
I imagine Uchimura will be a bit more cautious when booting up the game from now on, and it’s a good lesson for other players to be aware of where you are when hunting for Pokemon.