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Is “Pokemon Go” past its Best Before Date?


Ten months ago I was enthusiastically Go-ing with all the other wannabe Pokemon Trainers in the world. But in the last 5 months, I’ve clicked on it, felt frustrated and swiped it off. So, is Pokemon Go past its Best Before Date?

Pokemon Go Stats:

The meteoric rise of Pokemon Go last year had everyone going wild, with the world claiming it as the “health app” of the year and the cure to the sedentary geek lifestyle.  But of the 650 million downloads of the app, 65 million people still use the app on a monthly basis and 5 million on a daily basis.

These numbers are still huge. Niantic has raked in an estimated $1 billion to date, averaging about $2 million every day. But, these numbers are steadily dropping and have been doing so for the last 6 months.

Pokemon Go Statistics
Pokemon Go Statistics

Pokemon Go Pros:

What was it that attracted us to Pokemon Go to begin with? For some, it was to catch ’em all. For others, a lot of nostalgia was mixed into the game, reminding us of days gone by when we wished that our parents would let us leave home at the age of 12 to catch dangerous animals and force them to fight each other in an arena. Then there is the gym battling, something that isn’t particularly fun or rewarding, but addictive nonetheless. And many more people played for the social adventure, the treasure (pokemon) hunting aspect of Go.

Niantic also continues to introduce new features and content. They have come out with a wearable device, launched the apple watch app, provided 80 more Pokemon and a buddy feature. All these enticed many of us to play, and came with the benefit of us walking more than our allotted 10,000 steps a day, often in the company of our friends, our family, our community.

My First Jigglypuff
My First Jigglypuff
Pokemon Go Cons:

Every game naturally loses customers after the initial hype, retention is hard, guys. But then came the bad. On the extreme scale, people died.  14 people to date  have died in Pokemon Go-related incidents, and 54 more have been injured. The ripples these events sent through the world started a spike of negative feelings. Was Pokemon Go putting people at risk? #dontpokemongoanddrive and #pokemongomademe started trending soon after.

These safety concerns on their own wouldn’t have been enough to topple the giant that Pokemon Go had become. What really started to spell out its end was the game itself. Or rather, the lack of game.

Pokemon Go at its core was nothing more than walk, click, swipe, catch and gym battles. For a game that marketed itself as “become the real-life Pokemon Trainer you always wanted to be”, there were little to no actual role-playing or story elements to the game. Many other light mobile games offsets this weakness with daily quests, not so with Pokemon Go.

Furthermore, Niantic didn’t simply not implement sought after content and features, they took it a step further. They removed Pokemon Go’s most popular feature ‘Pokemon Tracking’, and cut off the ability of third parties to fix this for gamers. Then, Niantic placed a ban on legitimate users because of their phones’ capacity to geo-spoof the game (pretend they are walking when they aren’t). Finally, they signed their own DNR (do-not-resuscitate) with silence. By ignoring the community and simply “doing what they thought was best”, Niantic managed to alienate a large majority of the Pokemon Go gaming community.

Pokevision Down
Pokevision Down
So, can Pokemon Go come back?

Can it stabilise? Or is it well and truly past that best before date? There are options for Pokemon Go to come back, such as by socialising with the community and/or implementing real-time battling. But whether Niantic will be able to do this before losing everyone, we will just have to wait and see.


Need something else to play now that the hype has gone? Check out my Top 7 Mobile Tabletop games. Or maybe you still want to play Pokemon Go? I’m thinking of giving it a 14th chance to get back in my good graces too. So here, take these Pokemon Go download links.