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Changes coming to Pokémon GO as interest starts to wane in the U.S.
At ComicCon over the weekend, sudden celebrity John Hanke, CEO and founder of Pokémon GO developer Niantic, talked about the insane response to the game and upcoming features. While exact timelines were not given, Hanke did acknowledge that new monsters will be rolled out “in the coming months and years”. He also noted how excited he was by the idea of customizable Pokéstops. At the same time, new data shows that the novelty may already be starting to wear off in the U.S..
Hanke frequently mentioned how hard the Niantic team were working just to keep the servers from crashing. But there have clearly been several conversations about possible updates to the game, including those made by players. Suggestions include a function for breeding Pokémon, addition of in-game trading and other training-related updates.
But the most significant change as far as gameplay goes is the possibility of customizing Pokéstops. Hanke noted that Niantic is already seeing plenty of this, as players frequently place lure modules at Pokéstops, modifying their original intended purpose. As Hanke said, “that’s a pretty cool idea that you can acquire an object that changes the function of a Pokéstop and gives it a new ability”.
Hanke revealed that Niantic was already interested in introducing healing Pokéstops to the game. But any new features might take a while to appear, as right now it sounds like it is still all hands on deck just keeping the servers running as more and more new players join. Still, despite Pokémon GO’s meteoric rise globally, it is finally starting to show signs of slowdown in the U.S..
The latest data from SurveyMonkey shows not only that Pokémon GO’s daily active user numbers have plateaued, but in the last few days have actually started to decline. From a high watermark of 26 million on both Android and iOS 10 days ago, that number is steadily trending downward.
The same is true of install numbers. Day one represented the highest download rate for Pokémon GO in the U.S., which has rapidly dropped in the weeks since. This is counter to all other massively popular games, which traditionally see their highest download figures long after initial launch. Search volume for the phrase Pokémon GO has also peaked in the U.S..
While the profusion of Pokémon content across the web has no doubt caused some mental burn out, the massive distances walked in the game itself have worn out more than a few players physically too. The novelty aspect may have begun to wear off, but this is only natural. It will be interesting to see exactly how many active daily users the game can sustain over the long term. New features like those mentioned above are a critical piece of the puzzle to keep players coming back for more.
How much time do you spend on Pokémon GO? Has it fallen or risen over time?