The phenomenal popularity of the mobile game Pokemon Go may be starting to cool off -- according to the latest information from SurveyMonkey, the app has lost nearly a quarter of its users in the United States. It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause, but it may involve a combination of tracking issues, bans on cheating players, and simple consumer fatigue.
A month ago, SurveyMonkey approximated that the augmented reality game had peaked at around 40 million players in the US. Fast forwarding to now, and things have calmed just a bit. As indicated in SurveyMonkey’s latest report, Pokemon Go has since dropped to about 30 million players. That drop is equivalent to a 22.7 percent slide in terms of player retention.
Just barely a week after Pokemon was released in major markets around the world, many industry watchers were quick to anoint the app as the most successful mobile game in US history. But there is this thing called the law of diminishing returns, and no app, no matter how successful, is immune to this.
Still, a few other factors might have contributed to the slide, and some of them involve decisions by the members of the Niantic development team that created the Pokemon Go game. For instance, the creators have decided to replace the helpful nearby tracking feature with a revised sightings functionality that has proven to be trickier to use than the feature it was trying to replace. And then there was that move to discontinue third party tracking tools like PokeVision. Pokemon Go became this really big thing because of the joy it delivered to players, but the Niantic crew might have tampered with that just a tad too much, and the decreased appreciation for the game now could be a direct result of that.
As for cheating bans, Niantic started adopting measures a week ago to make sure that players utilizing bots and other cheat devices would get a permanent ban from playing Pokemon Go. Unfortunately, reports of false bans also surfaced, which put a more negative light on the mobile game. Needless to say, the month of August is not looking to be a great one for Pokemon Go.
Despite this noticeable slide, Pokemon Go remains to this day the most dominant mobile app out there. Before Pokemon Go, the most popular apps normally lose around half of their players just thirty days after release. By any measure, the 22 percent slide Pokemon Go is experiencing right now is still better than what other apps have managed in the past.
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