Picture this: you’re back in July 5, 2016. Covid-19 has not existed yet and plagued the world. You can go anywhere anytime you want. Duterte and Robredo just won the elections. WAP hasn’t existed yet, and Pokémon Go had just come out. Within the following weeks, almost everyone has Pokémon Go on their phones installed. The game was so popular, it was number 3 on Google’s Top Trending Searches overall. Most likely, you have even played the game back then.
Eventually however, the game died out. Not many people were walking around anymore with their phones on their hands catching a Pidgeot or a Pikachu. No one was debating anymore on Facebook whether Team Valor was better than Team Mystic. You would have probably uninstalled the game by then.
So, what happened?
The Rise of Pokémon Go
On September 10, 2015, Pokémon Go was announced in an event in Tokyo. Niantic Labs collaborated with the Pokémon company to make an augmented reality game that “aimed to bring the iconic world of Pokémon into the physical realm”. At the time, this sounded very revolutionary. There has not been much games that utilized the phone’s GPS and phone like this, and so many people have been hooked to the idea.
For many, Pokémon is their childhood. Seeing their childhood come back to life through their phones would make them play this game. Thus, when the game launched on July 5, 2016, it made great success for Nintendo. At its peak, Pokémon Go was downloaded 90.5 million times in a single week, six times more than Facebook during the same time. According to a study, peak daily player levels had reached 28.5 million in mid-July in the US.
The Fall of Pokémon Go
However, it went downhill fast. From 28.5 million players in the middle of July to only 5 million players by the end of December. Almost 83% of the players have probably quit by then. Even though Pokémon Go had introduced more Pokémon from Generations 2 to 5 in future updates, the game got hit harder by the introduction of Covid-19. The pandemic has lessened the rate of people walking out in public, thus hampering its gameplay.
The Probable Causes of its Downfall
Many people have claimed that the reason behind the player fallout is due to the updates. The game had removed features that were deemed important to players, such as the Pokémon tracking. Removed in July 30, 2016, this was important as players can determine how far or how nearby certain Pokémon are.
Another problem with the updates is how slow they come. Since its release, there had been no major changes to the game until February 2017, which introduced Johto Pokémon. All the updates in between were bug fixes, UI improvements, and tweaks in game balance. This made Pokémon Go the same game since July 2016 to February 2017. It is understandable why many would abandon the game by then.
Furthermore, the game had many bugs, and no we’re not talking about bug-type Pokémon. Bugs and errors plagued the game. Even though the developers released fixes for them on each update, more came by as well.
Others have differing opinions as to why the game declined. Many suggested that it could be because of how Niantic Labs, the company which made the game, interacted with its players. It banned many players for hacking and eventually banned rooted phones from playing the game itself. Pokémon Go also introduced many problems such as trespassing and accidents happening while playing.
What about you? Why did you quit Pokémon Go too?