Home / Gaming / Pokemon Go shed 10 million users in the past month; is the game a short-lived fad?

Pokemon Go shed 10 million users in the past month; is the game a short-lived fad?

When Pokémon Go launched, it exploded into a worldwide phenomenon in short order. Massive downloads, huge amounts of user engagement, parties — for a brief period of time, it looked as if the new game might single-handedly revolutionize mobile gaming. The bloom, however, seems to fading off this particular rose in short order.

A new report from Bloomberg highlights the steep decline in Pokémon Go’s daily users and overall user engagement. While the app peaked at 45 million daily users, it’s since declined to just 35 million — and while that still qualifies it as a smash hit, it’s a worrisome drop for a game to shed 22% of its user base in just one month.

PokeGo

“Given the rapid rise in usage of the Pokémon Go app since the launch in July, investors have been concerned that this new user experience has been detracting from time spent on other mobile focused apps,” senior Analyst Victor Anthony wrote for Axiom Capital Management. “The declining trends should assuage investor concerns about the impact of Pokémon Go on time spent on the above named companies.” (Said named companies included Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Twitter, and Snapchat.)

Pokémon Go a short-lived fad?

I’ve kept an eye on Pokémon Go’s evolution post-launch, even if I don’t play it myself. As the first augmented reality game to draw even half this much interest, it’s been interesting to see how the title would continue to attract users and grow the fan base. Unfortunately, most of the news in the past 30 days has been negative.

Niantic broke the “Nearby” function that allowed users to gauge whether Pokémon were in their vicinity, then removed it completely. It ordered all third-party services that provided Pokémon tracking to cease and desist from doing so, damaging the ability of many players to enjoy the game. The game has been criticized for turning into a relentless grind at higher difficulty levels, the battling mechanism is a pale shadow of what’s available in other Pokémon games, and there are reports that the game flatly disallows you from earning “too much” experience in a single day. There are also reports that Pokémon Go is a fundamentally different game if you play in urban areas as opposed to rural ones — if you don’t live in the right parts of the United States, there’s not a lot of Pokémon Go to enjoy in the first place.

It’s entirely possible, even likely, that Pokémon Go will stabilize at a lower daily user rate. But Niantic’s current focus seems to be on rolling the game out to more locations, as opposed to improving the core experience and gameplay. That makes sense as far as continuing to push raw metrics like downloads and hours played, but it won’t help the company retain its player base in the long term.

If you’ve been playing Pokémon Go, are you still picking it up now or are you looking around for a new game? Let us know in the comments.

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