“Pokemon Go” mania seems to be wearing off as cheat bans, tracking problems and general fatigue have caused Niantic’s app to lose almost a quarter of its users in the U.S, according to a new SurveyMonkey Intelligence report seen on ComicBook.Com and Silph Road. Last month, the usage stat collection agency estimated that “Pokemon Go” had peaked at about 40 million players within the territory. The most recent numbers, however, paint a far different picture. Since its most popular point, that same stat has already dropped to around 30 million. That math correlates to a 22.7 percent loss of retention.
When it comes to asking why this app’s pervasiveness has started to fall, there are a few facts to consider. For one, just days after “Pokemon Go” became available, it was named the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. Because of the historic high on which it launched, a large decline in interest is almost guaranteed.
That being said, those much closer to the game’s community would likely correlate the results to several unpopular decisions made by the Niantic development team over the past few weeks. The helpful “nearby” tracking feature has been partially replaced by a revised “sightings” mechanic that’s not nearly as easy to use. As if that wasn’t bad enough, third-party tracking tools, like PokeVision, were also discontinued. Many players adored “Pokemon Go’s” collective qualities. When those systems are tampered with, the faithful seemingly lose interest.
Then there’s also the recent cheating bans to consider as well. Late last week, Niantic began enacting measures to ensure that those using bots and other cheat devices would be banned from the game. Combine that tactic with the growing reports of false bans, and the sharp drop in activity starts to make sense. Between tracking and cheats, August has not been a great month for this mobile juggernaut. Dissatisfaction gives credence to our prior claims that “Pokemon Go” might be a short-term fad.
Despite their pessimistic implications, however, these stats do little to deny the fact that “Pokemon Go” continues to dominate the zeitgeist. Those close to mobile development suggest that even the most popular apps are expected to lose about half of their players just one month after release. By comparison, “Pokemon Go’s” 22 percent dip is pretty solid.
“Pokemon Go” is available now on Android and iOS.
Do you think “Pokemon Go” popularity is already falling off? Are tracking issues and bans to blame? Tell us in the comments section!