Niantic is making changes to its Pokemon Go
mobile game to bring back some of the millions of users who no longer play regularly, according to Recode
. The game blew up last summer, becoming the biggest mobile game in history with 21 million active daily users five days after launch (see “’Pokemon Go’ and Stores
”). Now daily users on the iPhone platform, for example, are down 96% from their August peak, according to Mobile Action via Recode.
Now game publisher Niantic has added promotional elements over the holiday weeks, and plans gameplay tweaks, frequent player rewards, events that make it easier for higher level users to advance, as well as new features such as more creatures, trading, and perhaps, eventually, player vs. player mode.
The initial Halloween promotion increased U.S. usage 19.2%, indicating that users may respond to these efforts with more frequent play.
Even without efforts to revive the game, Pokemon has penetrated the culture in ways that haven’t been seen for 15 years, and in surprising ways. Fashion designer Prabal Gurung launched a capsule collection, Prabal Gurung X Pokemon, this month at a single store in New York, featuring items such as the Pikachu dress pictured here at $1395.
So it seems likely that the sales of other Pokemon products, including the TCG and the manga, will continue to be substantially elevated from their pre-Pokemon Go levels, with some potential for an additional sales pop if Niantic’s further efforts to revive users are successful.