Pokémon Go is losing millions of users as popularity declines

By Scorpus · 27 replies
Aug 24, 2016
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  1. Like many extremely popular mobile games that came before it, Pokémon Go has started to lose its appeal less than two months after its release. According to data shown to Bloomberg, the game quickly ballooned out to 45 million daily active users in mid-July, before shedding more than 10 million users in the month that followed.

    Engagement with Pokémon Go in general is on a downward trend, with data from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia showing that key metrics like downloads and time spent on the app per day are "all well off their peaks". The declines are expected to continue as casual mobile gamers lose interest in catching Pokémon.

    Other major mobile app companies like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook are welcoming the news, as Pokémon Go was apparently stealing their spotlight. During the past month, users were reportedly playing Pokémon Go so much that other apps were losing users and screen time, which wasn't making investors particularly happy.

    With a limited and tough progression system outside the first dozen levels, Pokémon Go was unlikely to captivate mobile gamers for more than a few months. The game will end up following a popularity trend similar to other widely played mobile titles – Fallout Shelter being one recent example – where daily active users peak quite early before retreating to a much lower, but more dedicated fan base.

    A declining user base isn't stopping developer Niantic from continuing to improve Pokémon Go. New versions of the game are being released on a regular basis, tweaking the gameplay and adding new features, with "several new and exciting features to come in the future." If you want to try the latest version you can download it for Android right here.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Crisis averted!
    wastedkill, Reehahs and MonsterZero like this.
  3. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 378   +244

    Yup, lost interest when all you can do is catch pokemon as the gym system sucks. There should be duels or something other to do...
  4. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Yeah well no surprise. From what I heard, the gameplay was actually pretty shallow and not really like a Pokemon game, so it seemed destined to be not much more than a fad.
  5. petert

    petert TS Addict Posts: 220   +64

    Very shallow indeed and I may add so buggy that the experience was completely ruined - stopped playing it after the first week. Tried to picked it up last week - still buggy although it doesn't crash as much as before.
  6. christiangeli

    christiangeli TS Member Posts: 16

    The game is too basic, and nice for child. but you cant play without internet connection and most child do not have 3g/4g internet on their tablet or smartphone. the game need to be more attractable to adult
  7. christiangeli

    christiangeli TS Member Posts: 16

    Or to add the possibility to do something at home on wifi
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Exactly. If you could battle and train pokemon like you could in the original Gameboy Color series, they'd have large retention rates. The way it's setup now, once the novelty wears off, there's no reason to boot it up.
  9. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TS Booster Posts: 167   +34

    The game is a million miles wide and only 5 inches deep.
    Niantic should do something for once.
  10. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,683   +1,082

    Remember folks, is isn't really Pokemon (yet.) this is more of Ingress themed Pokemon.

    Anyways, I kind of hope it dies off. I must be evil.
  11. Indeed, like everyone said above.
    I downloaded it because I wanted to understand what the hype was all about; and it holds intense interest for the first 2 maybe 3 days, but then you ask yourself: self, is there really no way to level or evolve these pokemon??

    And the answer is there is no way except to catch more of the same type...so if you have a super rare baby pokemon you will NEVER evolve it or level it. So what's the point of even playing?

    Here is another major pitfall...if you do happen to somehow make it to the gym and when you lose, what's next? Well, your pokemon is passed out so first you have to use a potion to revive him, then you have to use multiple healing potions to heal him up; so you have to spend real money to buy stuff JUST TO PLAY.

    aka..pay big to play...not even to win.
  12. RevD14

    RevD14 TS Booster Posts: 77   +79

    That's completely false. I don't think you really played this game. You can'y buy potions, revive or star dust in the shop with real money even if you wanted to. They don't sell that. Those things are given for free at pokestops.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,936   +764

    Hmmm... that 15 Minutes is almost up.
  14. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    The game has no depth, and is repetitive to the extreme and no I'm not talking about No Mans Sky... I actually like that game.
  15. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Booster Posts: 174   +70

    I tried to like this game, but it failed to hold my attention after the first week. There is just too little substance to playing it right now. I also have the gym system and the lack of being able to level up and evolve your Pokémon in any other way that catching the same one over and over again just leaves the system bland.

    The bugs and removed or missing features is an entirely different problem in itself. This game is going to die before Niantic can do anything to save it.

    My 5 year old still likes it, so I occasionally let him play on my phone, but it doesn't take much to impress a 5 year old. I'm not sure what Niantic is thinking, but impressing young kids isn't going to be enough to succeed.
  16. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +12

    Pokedoo? Pikaboo? Never heard of them...
  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    If they manage to make you have a team that will evolve and level with you (instead of you leveling up... I mean seriously, what the hell, and your lvl doesn't influence on anything at all, not like pokemon are more likely to follow you or anything...) that will make it a much more rewarding system.

    But we know already what it is on the core, they won't revamp the whole thing so... shhhh shhhh let go... let go....
  18. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    I think the reason it was so "hot" is because of the "keep up with the Jones' mentality. Sheep, Lemmings etc...
    everyone is doing it, so it must be cool. Stupid game, stupid concept. I've seen parks FULL of poke-zombies.
  19. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,000   +1,320

    Something about catching 20 pidgeys a day got old quickly.
  20. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +432

    Never played. It's no Candy Crush
  21. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,108   +1,286

    That's the funny part, a game like pokemon should have been a perfect fit for phones yet they somehow managed to create a game that has 1/10 the depth of the original that ran on a device without even color and a hell lot less processing power and memory. The fact that they released the game without a real battle system is a joke and furthers the point that mobile gaming is forever doomed to receive the lowest gradient of games on the market.
  22. ChuckyDhaBeast

    ChuckyDhaBeast TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +25

    The fact that I had no chance of catching a pokemon in nature, but instead had to go to walmart was enough for me to uninstall that game. Seriously, a water type pokemon should be found near a lake, not in the middle of a shopping center.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  23. mlscrow

    mlscrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +20

    The sad and frustrating part of this all, at least for me, is seeing a company produce, a game that has the most potential in history, to become, hands down, the biggest and highest grossing game the world has ever seen. 45 Million active users is incredible, however, they have dropped more than 10 million already due to the boring nature of the game.

    It's like seeing someone win the lotto and then have a stroke and go into a coma with death imminent.

    Niantic is making tons of money, yet, rather than add features to the game, they are removing them for the sake of freeing up server resources. No Niantic, NO NO NO! When you have a groundbreaking and record breaking game, using an innovative system that captures 45 million active users, you don't take features out of the game that are good and useful features (they removed the footsteps location feature, which allowed people to locate Pokemon that showed up on the "Nearby" list. Without it, all you have is the nearby list and well, you're on your own trying to find it. The footsteps wasn't pin-point accurate or anything, it just made locating the Pokemon doable. You could find the general direction you should be going to eventually pick the Pokemon up on your radar. This feature is appreciate, needed, and now missed, a lot. Frankly, once they took this feature away, I stopped playing. Why? Because the feature actually made it worth-while to walk around outside for a bit and hunt down a Pokemon. Without it, I have to basically wander about a huge area with the hopes of going not only in the right direction, but going far enough in the right direction to find it on my radar. The only way do this as efficiently as possible, is to create a mental grid of the area around you and systematically scan the area, line by line, east to west, then west to east, moving southward, to cover all parts of the area and even then it may not work, because you have not have picked the right area, or the Pokemon might de-spawn by the time you get there. At least with the footsteps, you had a chance. It didn't work that well all of the time, but at least it worked enough to make wandering for a bit, something you'd debate with yourself as to whether or not to do, but if there was a rare enough Pokemon, you'd probably chose to do it. Now, even if I see a rare Pokemon on my nearby list, I couldn't care less. I turn the app off and put the phone back in my pocket and go back to RL.

    On top of getting rid of the footsteps system, they reduced radius of the radar. It's like, are you kidding me? You first get rid of the one thing that really helped us locate Pokemon and now you are reducing the radius of our radar, making even harder to locate a Pokemon? Yes, they reduced it from 100ft to 70ft, which doesn't seem like much, but if you're actually calculating square area, that's basically a 50% reduction. 50 PERCENT! WTF!

    So now, I really really don't want to look for Pokemon anymore. I really enjoyed doing up until they increased the chances of me completely wasting my time to about 9 out of 10 times. That return just isn't worth it for me. I walk around for 20 minutes, don't find the Pokemon, it disappears off my nearby list, and then I'm upset that I wasted 20 minutes of my life for nothing.

    Lastly, the gym system just doesn't work. It's virtually impossible to hold a gym for 21-24 hours in a highly populated area. Not only is that a big letdown, as you can't seem to get gold any other way, side from spending real money, but even when you fight for a gym, you have to fight it over and over and over and over again, if there's a lot of Pokemon holding the gym, which I think it's a completely retarded requirement, and it's not even exciting in the least, as you aren't battling other people, you're simply battling a dumb AI that is in control of whatever leftover Pokemon that some random person decided to leave there.

    When you have such an incredible opportunity in front of you, to make insane amounts of money, to break all kinds of records, to perhaps be the single largest, most popular software application on the planet, and you ruin it, because you're too damn lazy to add resources to the system, and instead, opt to remove features from the software, to accommodate the limited existing resources, it ends up being the most incredible waste of such an opportunity ever. Not only is it annoying as a player, but it is annoying as a human being, to see something so great be wasted by such *****ic management.

    When you create something like this and the user base exceeds expectations and your servers are being slammed, you don't remove features from the app, to accommodate your existing servers, you add more resources for the app, you buy more servers, you buy more load balancers, you buy more RAM, more powerful CPU's, GPU's (for parallel computing needs), you buy enterprise SSD's to run in a RAID array, you increase the datacenter size to accommodate the needs of the user base. By taking features away from the software in order to accommodate the system, you end up reducing your user base and then you feel like a complete *****, for catering to inanimate objects instead of catering to the people who are making you successful, rich, and famous.

    Not only should they have been adding more resources to accommodate the user base, but they should have been doing it LONG ago. It's been months since the game came out, and they still haven't returned these features, or provided any new ones. What they really need to do (and hopefully it's not too late, but I believe it is), is add a battle system. What is the point of spending so much time and energy hunting down Pokemon, if you cannot battle with them? People want their efforts to pay off in some way and the only satisfactory way, would be to be able to see other players on your map and initiate battle with them. When some douche-bag guy at the bar, is drunk, being a *******, and talking all kinds of **** about his Pokmeon, you should be able to challenge him and take advantage of his drunken state, to knock out some of his best Pokemon, and perhaps even be able to take them from him.

    I mean, seriously, what Pokemon game exists that doesn't have a battle system? This is not Pokemon, this is Easter Egg Hunt, the game. Yay, I found an Easter Egg...now I can...add it to my collection...-.- w00t? nope.

    If I was in control of Niantic, I would have sized up the development team enough to come out with the battle system months ago. I would have used the profits made so far to grow the datacenter enough to support the user base. I would have done every single thing possible to ensure that this, being one of the greatest single business opportunities the world has ever seen, remains successful. They are letting it slip through their fingers, which apparently are up their own arses, and it's a shame.
  24. mlscrow, you crit attacked me with the 'wall of text' ability! Half my HPs are gone!
    but I do agree with you ;)
  25. mlscrow

    mlscrow TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +20

    That's just my rapid attack move, you should see my power ability!

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