A couple of weeks ago, Niantic Lab’s Pokémon GO achieved 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store, which could mean that the true figure for the augmented reality gaming app is likely close to double that figure, when the other app stores are counted. Given that the app’s download numbers didn’t look like going down or even leveling off, it seemed that Nintendo may have already addressed the short attention spans of gamers who tend to move over to other apps after the initial hype dies down. However, latest figures for the Pokémon GO app which have been released by the likes of Axiom Capital Management, SurveyMonkey, Sensor Tower and Google Trends point to the download numbers of the app (as well as time spent on it) are going down. Nintendo suffered a similar fate after its Miitomo app failed to hold on to its popularity last year and it will be interesting to see if Pokémon GO will suffer the same in the long run.
According to Axiom Capital Management, while daily active users of Pokémon GO peaked at close to 45 million in the middle of July, the number went down to just over 30 million in just a month. The game’s engagement has also come down a lot from a spectacular 100% in the first week of July to less than 60% in the middle of August. While it seemed that augmented reality may finally catch up with the popularity of virtual reality thanks to the success of Pokémon GO, people’s interest in the concept waned just as quickly as it rose in July. With smartphone makers churning out new VR headsets with their latest phones, this should come as welcomed news, even if some companies are disappointed at the wane in the number of downloads for Pokémon GO in recent weeks.
The success of Pokémon Go was such that the app’s usage stats exceeded those of popular apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat in July. As such, investors in firms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were beginning to worry that the rise of Pokémon GO may severely impact the average time spent on their apps by regular users. “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,” said Victor Anthony, Senior Analyst at Capital Management. Given how Pokémon GO’s stats are not looking as great now as they did then, such investors and company executives must be heaving a sigh of relief.