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Pokémon GO app slides in popularity, but could see revival from updates

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GOPokémon GO, the mobile game that took the world by storm in a way that no other ever has, is starting to run out of steam. But the game remains a phenomenon that could see an uptick in popularity from rumoured updates.

On July 6, nerds everywhere rejoiced and dealt with the perhaps unusual sensation of leaving their homes for the first time in month to go out and “catch em’ all”.

Since Pokémon GO’s staged release it has been downloaded more than 130-million times, and generated its fair share of controversy on its way to becoming a bonafide cultural phenomenon. From the game being banned in some countries to people being arrested, robbed, to the belief of some that it could possibly be used for spying, the game made a mark in a way that few other games –an no other mobile game ever- did. But as with everything, what goes up must come down. Although for Pokémon Go it actually appears to be coming down slowly.

According to mobile trend investigator Apptopia, the mobile app has dropped around 12 million average daily users, but still manages to maintain over 30 million daily users. It seems those Pidgeys won’t be running rampant, for a little while at least.

“Given the rapid rise in usage of the Pokémon Go app since the launch in July, investors have been concerned that this new user experience has been detracting from time spent on other mobile focused apps,” says Victor Anthony, an analyst with Axiom Capital Management.

Anthony says investors have concerns that Pokémon Go was taking the spotlight away from apps such as Tinder, Facebook, and Snapchat. At the same time, he says its inevitable decline opens numerous doors for new augmented reality games to swoop in, because companies can now confirm to investors that there is interest in the space.

The slide of Pokémon GO should be taken with a grain of salt. It is still currently one of the top grossing free games on the planet. And there remains the probability of periodic revivals from rumoured updates that may include trading, battling friends, newer generations of Pokémon, and battling with wild Pokémon. There was even an update release recently that allows the player to take their Pokémon for walks to earn candies. All of that may help the game bring back wayward users.

“It’s rare for games to explode in popularity like Pokémon Go has, but a drop in users was always expected after a big launch,” said Craig Chapple, editor of mobile games trade publication PocketGamer.Biz to the BBC. “Players do typically churn from these free-to-play games. Another recent launch, Supercell’s Clash Royale, is also being hit by a decline in active and paying users, but it’s still making millions of dollars every day.”

So whether or not you’re still playing Pokémon GO it was definitely a big step forward for mobile gaming and also getting people off of their couches and away from their computers. Now everyone can go back to taking selfies, swiping left and right, and seeing what Aunt Jean was up to over the Labour Day weekend from her 600 picture posts on Facebook.

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