Pokémon Go is in rapid decline. Since launching in July and soaring in popularity, it had lost at least a third of its daily users by the middle of August. By mid-September, daily revenues had fallen from US$16m per day to US$2m (excluding the 30% app store fee) and daily downloads had declined from a peak of 27 million to 700,000.
Of course, many mobile games – especially ones that trigger a worldwide craze – suffer declines in usage over time. Pokémon Go still generates significant revenues. But its precipitous decline has seen it labelled a fad and nicknamed “Pokémon Gone”.
This raises the question of why usage has dropped so steeply, and what other game companies might do differently to retain users. In my opinion, Pokémon Go’s creators Niantic have made several significant missteps. Here are the lessons that other companies can learn.