Pokémon Go: Stable player numbers with slumps in sales – does Niantic learn from it?

Pokémon Go: Proto-Kyogre in Proto-Raid - the 15 best counters!  (1)

There are some statisticians who keep track of how popular the big online games are throughout the year. Or they try to evaluate how much money a company makes through in-app purchases, for example. So did the people at Statista. Its author J. Clement published a graphic a few days ago that is of particular interest to Pokémon Go players and that strengthens their belief. This belief is the following: In order to get the Pokemon Go developers at Niantic to listen to player feedback, players themselves should deny the company revenue. In this case, the love for Pokémon goes not only through the stomach, but also through the wallet.

Yes, I concede that is a somewhat ridiculous rephrasing of the proverb. But that doesn’t change the fact that players who care about Pokémon Go are asking their fellow coaches to take the money out of Niantic. In her eyes, the way the developers deal with the fans would then change. In the best-case scenario, the criticism and feedback given about Pokémon Go would be taken seriously.

The numbers say: loss of sales

Back to Statista statistics. This records the annual sales of Pokémon Go in-app purchases, and it clearly shows that the game (not least because of the introduced Pokémon Home relief because of the pandemic) in 2020 with more than 900 million US dollars on implemented most. And that the Niantics may not have suffered severe losses in 2021, but in 2022.

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Herb, of course, that’s an opinion in the eye of the beholder, but when sales drop from more than $900 million to just over $700 million, it starts to show. It’s not without reason that they will Managers of Niantic in June 2022 kicked out around 80 employees and canceled several games. The question is: are these losses due to fewer trainers logging into Pokémon Go?

Supposedly stable player numbers

according to the Accumulated data from the Activeplayer.io website the MAU numbers (MAU = Monthly Active Users, i.e. the players log in at least once a month) are relatively stable. Of course, you have to keep in mind that the data is not official and may not be as easy to track as it is on a platform like Steam. If we trust the data from Activeplayer, more than 70 million, sometimes up to 80 million, players have been logging into Pokémon Go every month since October 2021. The numbers look very stable. In view of the fact that Pokémon Go is still very popular, especially in Asia, these are values ​​that seem credible.

What does that say about Pokemon Go? The interest is still there. But the incentives to spend money on the game are diminishing. It’s not just about event tickets. Let’s think of examples that seem relatively trivial, such as the much-discussed reduction in smoke effectiveness when the player is not moving. In memory of: The smoke’s couch bonus caused it to attract Pokémon every 30 seconds. It’s now back to smoke only attracting a pocket monster every five minutes if the player’s avatar isn’t moving.

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It’s conceivable that many trainers put one or the other Pokécoin in the purchase of smoke during this time. The item only costs 40 PokéCoins as a single purchase, 250 in a pack of eight. That doesn’t hurt, you can invest a little there, right? Isn’t that the point behind the concept of microtransactions?

What does Niantic learn from this?

“Oh, our game is still popular, but people don’t throw money at us anymore, what do you do?” I have already mentioned one consequence: Niantic employees were laid off and games were discontinued either in the development phase or during operation. Just think of the game with the euphonious name Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. That should actually be a precision landing with the Potterheads. However, it wasn’t. Probably not enough money fell away and therefore operation and further development were stopped. Would that actually be a scenario that could also apply to Pokémon Go if only enough players refused to buy an event ticket umpteenth time?

Sure, when push comes to shove. However, with such assumptions, you still have to keep in mind the (probably) around 70 million monthly active users. As easy as Niantic can reach this amount of people with their game and the messages it transports (just think of sponsored gifts) … that’s an amazing range, you don’t just throw it away.

At least that’s what you should think if you’re sane enough. You’d also think that you wouldn’t gamble away that range by listening little to not to player feedback. But that, we all know, is a complicated subject.

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