The world’s biggest mobile game is starting to show signs of decline.
Back when it first launched, at the beginning of July, Pokemon Go captured a huge share of mobile app users. The game’s growth was that rapid that it was larger social media apps, such as Twitter, that were starting to panic.
By mid-July Pokemon Go was at it’s peak. It was bringing in an estimated 40m-45m daily active users, no doubt making the execs at Niatic and Nintendo rub their hands together with glee.
Shares in Nintedo soared, Niantic – a previously unheard of offshoot of Google, was a household name and there didn’t seem to be enough bandwidth in the world to satisfy user demand.
Pokemon Go was single-handedly bringing interest in augmented reality near to that of virtual reality – a previously unreachable goal.
It had not all gone the way of Pokemon Go though. Server issues, updates wiped save and left users frantic, game freezing, slow roll-out dates and much, much more left many user frustrated with the app. Yet it didn’t seem to matter, the players kept on playing in the hope that the next update would bring a solution to their problems. Niantec and Nintendo have been viewed as being slow to react to the games many glitches but we question whether they are.
Nobody could have envisaged the rapid growth and hysteria that would surround this game. The makers have released constant statements and updates either fixing issues or promising to. There’s no doubt the game could have been rolled-out better, but I feel they’ve done enough for user not to give up hope, just yet.
What goes up must come down
Apparently though, users do not agree. The average daily active users dropped to 20m-25m and seems to be continuing on a downward trend.
Whether this is due to the issues with the game or just a general drop of interest is debatable. I personally believe it can be attributed to both. Games such as Pokemon Go instil a sense of nostalgia on the user than reminds them of their childhood, this was a huge reason behind why many people played the game. Nostalgia is not enough to keep people playing forever.
When you consider a large proportion of Pokemon Go users are adults, spending what little free time they have playing the game, it was unrealistic to think they might continue abiding the games many faults. I can attest that when you spend time you maybe shouldn’t playing a game, and that game decides to wipe your save, controlling the urge to through your phone against a wall becomes somewhat difficult.
Another key reason behind users leaving the game in their droves is the game itself. After a while the prospect of hatching eggs and ‘collecting them all’ becomes quite repetitive. Even fighting to retain a gym can be frustratingly tedious at times.
What next then?
Well firstly I don’t think Pokemon Go is ‘Go’-ing anywhere any time soon. 20m active daily users is still one heck of a user-base, which proves the game must still be popular.
Niantic have recently announced the planned introduction of a ‘Buddy System’ patch and the Pokemon Appraisal feature. I wouldn’t expect big changes, both of these updates are just slight deviations of the game play we experience now. I’m sure they were designed as such by Niantec, I mean why deviate from a winning formula?
I think the main aim for the Pokemon Go team will be to remove the bugs that surround the game, if they do this I am sure their descent will plateau and they will retain users who will an enhanced gaming experience.