In the hours after Pokémon GO’s launch, it was an instant hit with millennials whose childhood dreams were now coming true. Real (virtual) life Pokémon!
The memories of my oldest son, now 19, being totally engrossed in Pokémon came flooding back. It was his favorite T.V. show, card trading/playing game, clothing attire, basically anything Pokémon.
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When I got home, my son had heard the news, downloaded the app, and proceeded to run around the neighborhood to try to “catch ’em all.” Could this be real? Could Pikachu have infiltrated my home once again? The answer is a fervent yes! Even his younger brothers happily participated in the hunt for these majestic creatures.
Fast forward a few months and the fascination has certainly died down. Media outlets have stopped reporting on all things Pokémon and you rarely see packs of people on the hunt. Pokémon GO even lost its top spot on the app charts to Clash Royale, a popular battling game. Despite some opinions that it was just a fad, I would venture to say that it has not gone away completely, and probably never will.
Pokémon GO’s fan base is full of loyal followers, the game just needs to evolve to keep people interested.
In a simple Pokémon GO Google search, there are pages upon pages of results for fanatics to get their tips, tricks, and PokéNews. The fan base is, not surprisingly, full of loyal followers. Pokémon GO maker Niantic just needs to evolve to keep people interested, like adding a social chat feature so user can interact with other trainers. Dave Thier agrees, saying “This game is only going to get better, and Pokémon GO has a long life — and a hell of a lot of revenue — left in it. Those that stick around will get gradual improvements, and people who come back up for new waves of Pokémon will find themselves with a better, more addictive experience than they had before.”
Pokémon GO may be losing users every week, but they also gain users equally as fast. Not to mention that its retention rate is second best on the Google Play store. The revenue also speaks for itself. According to Brian Barrett, “That free fall over the last month, where it lost nearly 20 million players? Daily revenue dipped just two percent in that same time, according to Apptopia.” Updates like a new Capture Bonus, to increase the odds of catching rare Pokémon, and features like an Apple Watch app and a wearable device all but ensures a successful future.
Millennials have grown up in this digital world and mastered all it has to offer. Having Pokémon at their fingertips allows for a non-stop nostalgic feeling greater than Generation X’s return of Polaroid cameras and Atari console video games. For them, it is not only reflective but also a step forward, to actually be their childhood hero Ash and someday battle in a virtual gym with their own Pokémon. Aric Suber-Jenkins confirms: “Rumors suggest that player-to-player trading and battling could be part of Niantic’s next major update. Those features are integral parts of the original Pokémon games and could certainly halt the decline of Pokémon GO’s user base.”
So whether you are a staunch Pokéfan pushing Level 30, or a fair weather fan just now figuring out the Easter egg, Pokémon GO will be there whenever you’re ready to catch ’em all.