It was an awesome two month run, Pokémon GO, but as people go back to school and work or just get tired of walking around for the sake of a game, usage is steeply declining:
It had almost 45 million daily users in July, but this figure appears to have sunk by more than 12 million since the start of August, to just over 30 million said to be playing Pokémon Go. Further decline is expected, as downloads, engagement, and the time users spend on the app have all also visibly flopped, according to data provided by Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.
30 million daily users is still a very impressive figure, but based on current downward momentum, we should probably expect that to decline and settle to around 5-15 million. Even that range would be a massive figure, enough to make GO a regular reference point of contemporary pop culture, but it's doubtful the game will be further touted as the next central social/marketing platform. As Raph Koster has suggested, it will simply maintain its user base of dedicated Pokémon-ers: "Pokémon fans are hardcore, memorize giant piles of data, optimize collections, gather rates, hack and cheat, and so on. That's the core audience here and who will monetize over time."
And with such a sharp decline happening so quickly, it's difficult to imagine Pokémon GO growing the market for augmented reality apps in general:
Pokémon is a massive, massive brand for millennials who grew up on the TV show & earlier iterations of the game as kids (the larger franchise is exactly 20 years old) and now own smartphones. There hasn't been as huge a franchise linked to an AR game before, nor such a perfect fit - "catch them all" has been Pokémon's tag line/game mechanic for decades, which practically demands an AR implementation. To succeed in a truly massive way, an AR game needs to be linked with a massive, well-established brand that has a "fantastic, invisible parallel world" premise well-integrated into its branding. I believe only the Harry Potter franchise could qualify there. (And I wouldn't be surprised if a Harry Potter AR is attempted.) But with GO not going far enough into mass market territory, augmented reality games have already, it seems, reached their apex.
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