How the mighty fall. Yes, Pokémon Go is a big deal now. Yes, it had a great first week in Apple's App Store: better than any other app ever released. Yes, lots of people play the game and, yes, you've probably been tempted to play the game too -- even if you managed to fight off the initial buzz.
If you're still scoffing at those who spend hours each night trudging around parks for elusive digital creatures, then you'll probably take a little solace in a recent report from SurveyMonkey that suggests interest in the game is already starting to wane.
We wouldn't say that's an unnatural surprise, though. The very nature of Pokémon Go means that any time its servers go down and players can't play -- and there's been some downtime -- the social aspects are wrecked. Gatherings of hundreds (and thousands) of players have been ruined by abrupt server issues, and people can lose interest in a game fairly quickly if they can never seem to play it when they want to. And there's not very much to do in Pokémon Go besides collecting Pokémon and fighting other players for gym ownership. It's fun, certainly, but it can get monotonous for some early players.
According to Survey Monkey, Pokémon Go had the most daily active users on July 14, just over one week after the game's release. SurveyMonkey estimates that figure at right around 25 million users or so. Since then, the game's daily user count has been on the decline.
"Surprisingly, downloads of Pokémon Go were largest on the day it was released, July 7th. Most successful apps, including previous record-setting hit games Draw Something and Candy Crush Saga, experience a slow start. These games hit their daily-download peaks some months after initial release. Pokémon Go is unusual not just for the size of its success but also the incredible speed of its ascent up the download charts," SurveyMonkey notes.
These same download charts reveal that the game might be reaching a saturation point in the United States, as it sat at right around 1.5 million daily downloads or so as of July 20. That's quite a drop from a week prior, where it was close to six million downloads in a single day.
It does feel a bit like we're quibbling over the natural progression of a game, however. Not everyone stays addicted to a mobile game, nor do games typically retain huge download figures for weeks following their launch. At some point, the craze subsides a bit -- at least until the game's developer releases a big update, fixes its servers to allow more people to play or pushes some huge marketing plan (like Pokémon Go's real-world tie-ins).
Pokémon Go is still a pretty big phenomenon, especially when you factor in the popularity of its international launches, too. We doubt it's going anywhere soon, but the craze does seem to be dropping from feverish proportions in the United States -- at least, a little.