July 26, 2016
In the last month, kids and adults have taken to the street to use their smartphones in pursuit of the most diverse Pokédex possible while playing the mobile game, Pokémon Go. They searched in parks, on beaches, and down alleys in order to find every creature from Pidgey to Charizard in hopes of bolstering their chances at nearby gyms. But according to research, the game has not experienced much growth since its explosive first week. And that should worry Niantic more than any downed server.
According to data from Survey Monkey Intelligence, Pokémon Go usage peaked on July 14th, boasting a shocking 25 million users. Unfortunately, over the last week and a half, daily usage numbers have dropped by up to 3 million. While the explosion of popularity obviously couldn’t be sustained forever, the almost immediate turnaround could spell trouble for the future of the mobile game, particularly because other popular games don’t typically enjoy that much success right off the bat.
“Most successful apps, including previous record-setting hit games Draw Something and Candy Crush Saga, experience a slow start. These games hit their daily-download peaks some months after initial release,” said SurveyMonkey blog post.
Similarly concerning for the geography-focused gaming company, download numbers peaked on the first day of their US release, July 7th. While they nearly hit 6 million downloads on that first day, they have not been able to get even close to that number in the last week. Since July 14th, numbers have fallen below 2 million daily downloads, showing that there is no way to stop the gradual decline of cultural phenomenons.
There are dozens of reasons why this game may not be keeping the attention of the masses for longer than a few weeks. First off, the insane popularity that came with the original launch is not sustainable in any medium. After all, even Netflix has its down days. Second off, nostalgia, not flawless interface or addicting gameplay, was the reason for the popularity. And unfortunately, nostalgia can’t maintain a growing audience. Finally, the push-back from haters and critics alike has made playing the game a social faux-pas. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Rihanna.
“I don’t want to see you catching any Pokémons up in this bitch,” said the popular musician at a concert last week.
Photo: Flickr / Camilo Duran
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