All games follow a life cycle. The rise, peak and fall differs based on popularity but all follow the standard bell curve. Pokemon GO seems to resemble Everest with it’s steep assent to gaming dominance and now it’s nearly  as drastic decent. There are a couple causes of PoGo’s fall.

School. Pokemon GO was released in the summer when kids had time to wonder around town tossing balls and catching critters on their phones. Parents were more likely to let them hang out later at night luring stops and battling in gyms. Then school started. No more free days and late nights. Instead it’s school, homework, sports and then play.

Glitches. PoGo was wrought with bugs, breakdowns, crashes, and frustrations for the first couple months. That’s 2/3 of it’s life. Niantic has ironed out most  of the issues but we still encounter GPS glitches, lockups and login lag.

Ideal. Pokemon GO was intended to bring gamers to the streets, the parks, into the public and out of the dark bedrooms we associate them with. What some found were ways to stay in one place but travel the world by rooting and jail-breaking phones to fake their GPS coordinance. Emulators were used on computers to do the same. This did not fit with the Ideal of the game and Niantic has taken steps to control such action with recent updates.

Bots have also been an issue, as they are with all games. Gym bots reportedly attack some gyms unceasingly. Some bots collect stops and catch pokemon nonstop. These types of issues can cause casual players to move to another game. They haven’t bothered me or my boys where we live but they could eventually if left unchecked.

Redundancy. There are very few different things to do in Pokemon GO. Really, you walk around and catch pokemon. You can spin the stops. You can battle at a gym. That’s it. Oh, you can evolve pokemon or transfer them. And all of this must be done on the go.

I find gym’s a waste of time. It’s fun to battle once or twice but there’s little strategy to it who cares. What’s more a gym is so easily won and so easily lost that once you have collected your coins (once per 21 hrs) who cares.

Look for further decline as winter sets in. Do kids really want to traipse around in subfreezing weather, marching through snow to catch an Eevee? Not many.

We’re almost three months into the life of Pokemon GO and and the last headline I read is that Niantic has lost 79% of their paying players. That’s a HUGE loss. The release of the gen 2 pokemon may bring some players back but the obstacles are great to reach anywhere near where it was only weeks ago.

What are the solutions?

Perhaps it’s time to release the Niantic emulator and allow players to operate from the warmth of their home traveling the world catching pokemon.

Releasing an in-game transport system may keep players interested.

Controlling bots is always a good idea.

In the end Pokemon GO will fade like all games do the question us how quickly. The rise of its popularity was a surprise. The fall not so much.

Rocky at the Candle Cafe

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