Pokémon Go is on a decline and it isn’t really ‘shocking’
Pokémon Go lost 10 million daily users and it was inevitable
The doomsayers have started predicting the death of Pokémon at the slightest inkling of the game losing some of its daily users. The craze might have peaked but it is far from over and those that have been forecasting its demise aren’t familiar with the lifecycle of a mobile game. In the highly competitive mobile gaming market if a game manages to retain even half of their users post the first month it is an indicator that the game has a certain ‘stickiness’ that can keep its users engaged. To put this into perspective, statistics from Apsee estimate that an average mobile game only retains 22% of its users after the first install. This means that Pokémon Go has actually exceeded expectations and is in the pink of health.
The hype that preceded Pokémon and the excitement about the franchise attracted a lot of casual users to the game. There was also a huge influx of users who had installed the game post the virality it achieved with little or no intention of playing it long term. This added to the bloated numbers of downloads of the game that would eventually have to even out. Pokémon Go daily users and engagement has dropped by close to 30 % and this can be seen as a cutting off of the deadweight.
The fact remains that it is still the top grosser in mobile games beating the likes of Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and the rest of the Supercell arsenal. The massive number of users it attracted initially was unsustainable, to put it mildly. The casual users, those that jumped onto the bandwagon will eventually abandon the pursuit of Pikachu’s, Squirtles and Bulbasaurs for the next big fad. However, there are close to 30 million users still playing the game (Report by Bloomberg) post the shedding of the casuals. This is a healthy user base by any means or metrics.
The trigger-happy analysis by a lot of armchair analysts are feeding the media frenzy surrounding Pokémon Go’s decline. The poster child of Augmented Reality is now facing a backlash with a bashing from many detractors. The fact remains that Pokémon is still keeping most of its players engaged and that its less popular precursor Ingress is still picking up active players. This means that the game will eventually stabilize with a loyal set of users and it is only a question of whether Niantic can keep this ‘core group’ hooked.