“Pokemon Go” recently the coolest thing on the inter-webs is finally showing signs of cooling off. This is after the first updates of the game were not greeted too well. In case you have been living under a rock, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game on iOS and android that accesses a smartphone’s GPS and camera to allow players to explore their surroundings in search of more than 100 Pokemon creatures.
Features within the game include “Pokestops” — where users collect items they can use — and gyms, which are larger landmarks that users battle to control.
The game has been credited with getting people off of their couches, unlike other smartphone based games easily played under covers but this game has also been blamed for its cons many of which have resulted to unintended consequences, like muggings, car crashes and even worse death.
Incidents that have resulted to deaths, both human and car accidents could sound absurd but with a game that involves catching Pokémon, battling at Gyms, using items, evolving your creatures, only that You’re doing it all in the real world. That means instead of tapping or using a D-pad to tell your virtual avatar where to go to find Pokémon, you’re actually walking.
The real time game and familiar gyms, making new connections in your neighborhood with other would-be Pokétrainer has have given Pokemon Go a twist that no other game has yet. “Pokemon Go” was developed jointly by Nintendo, U.S. video game startup Niantic, and Pokemon Co., which markets and licenses the Pokemon franchise.
As in many other countries, the game took Japan by storm when it was released on July 22. That evening, so many people rushed to start playing the game that downloading it became temporarily difficult.
But while there are still throngs of people roaming the streets, smartphone in hand as they hunt virtual Pokemon characters, the game has already fallen from the top of the charts for app downloads.
As of Aug. 1, it had slipped to second place among most popular free apps on the Japan edition of Apple’s App Store. It had dropped to fourth among top-grossing games for Apple devices, behind mixi‘s “Monster Strike,” GungHo Online Entertainment‘s “Puzzle & Dragons” and “Fate/Grand Order,” developed by Aniplex.
In the U.S., where “Pokemon Go” was released in early July, some players are saying they have already grown tired of it.
“The hype around Pokémon Go is dying and people all over the world are slowly falling out of love with it. According to Survey Monkey, the number of users has been steadily decreasing since 14 July 2016, the largest day for the game when it attracted over 25 million smartphone user. Almost a month later, users are getting quite bored of the game.” Stated an international blog
The stock market has reacted to the waning fever, sending Nintendo shares into a tailspin. The stock sank to 20,100 yen on Aug. 1, down nearly 40% from the 32,700 yen it logged on July 19.
Nintendo’s decision to delay the launch of a “Pokemon Go” accessory from the end of July to September contributed to the stock’s fall.
But a slight cooling off of a fever is not necessarily bad in the smartphone game industry, at least from the long-term perspective. A prolonged boom can eventually cause even ardent players who have bought numerous in-app items to lose interest in the game.
To stay popular, a game must regularly add new features, fix any problems and make other improvements. Whether “Pokeman Go” developers will keep up with the demands is something to watch out.