'Pokémon Go' is losing players fast — here are the 4 biggest reasons why

Source: AP
Source: AP

Just over a month ago, Pokémon Go became the biggest mobile game in U.S. history — but now the number of users is starting to decline, and fast. 

Bloomberg recently published charts from Axiom Capital Management that show a daily decrease in the game's users and engagement. Pokémon Go reached its peak around 45 million users in mid-July and has since dropped off to approximately 30 million in the span of four weeks. 

How could this be? It goes without saying that no game could sustain such incredible engagement throughout its entire lifetime, but why is Pokémon Go losing users so quickly? It seemed like just yesterday people were running into traffic for the sake of this game, but a month later, the novelty has worn off and Pokéburnout has set in. Here are some theories why.

Less visibility

Pokémon Go
Source: 
NOEL CELIS/Getty Images

Simply put, Pokémon Go is out of the spotlight. It dominated headlines after its release, but the momentum has died down, according to Google Trends data on news searches.

Google Trends data on 'Pokémon Go'
Source: 
Google Trends

This could be due to a decline in visibility in the physical world. Maybe fewer people are walking around glued to their phones stumbling into dead bodies, getting into car accidents or breaking into cemeteries. Or maybe the stories are just getting repetitive and tired — especially this month, when the Olympics have taken over the news cycle.

Physical activity required

Source: Hau Dinh/AP

Pokémon Go was initially praised for encouraging gamers to go outside and explore, but that initiative had to eventually take a toll on players, especially during the hottest July ever. Prospective Pokémon trainers might also have been discouraged by numerous reports of armed robberies and shootouts that were experienced when players ventured outside. And disappointed users who wanted a game they could play on their couch may have simply given up.

Repetitiveness

Numerous early reviews called Pokémon Go "bland and repetitive," and more than a month later, even the most diehard fans will admit it can get a little... well, boring. Once you catch one Pidgey, catching more loses its appeal. 

As BuzzFeed put it, the game works like this: "Walk around. Find Pokéstops. Gather items. Catch (mostly the same frequently appearing Pokémon). Level them up. Maybe fight in a gym. Repeat." Yawn.

The game is plagued by glitches

Time for some real talk. None of the other supporting reasons come close to this one: Pokémon Go was, and is, fundamentally broken. First off, the game is significantly different from what was promised in the original trailer. And then the version that was delivered was still full of glitches that made the user experience extremely frustrating. Servers routinely crashed, the game frequently froze and players were repeatedly asked to log-in to their accounts. 

It got so bad that there's an entire website solely dedicated to answering the following question: Is Pokémon Go down or not? Niantic, the game's developer, just released a minor update, but it'll have to do a bit more if they plan on sustaining Pokémon Go's fanbase. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

MORE FROM

5 times rappers repped video games with their chains — from Migos to Pharrell and 'Crash Bandicoot' to Kirby

Quavo's 'Crash Bandicoot' chain is the latest in a long-running trend. Leave it to hip-hop to bring the achievement trophy to entirely new levels of awesome.

The best Mac OS deals from the Steam Summer Sale

Despair no more: there are Mac games you can buy during the Steam Summer Sale. Here's out day 5 recap.

Why we need a new Bellator MMA video game

Here's why we need a Bellator MMA video game.

The ultimate guide to 'Pokémon Go' raid boss battles

Check out our roundup of every Pokémon you'll find during a raid in this 'Pokémon Go' raid boss list.

Here are five fantastic games that should have made their way onto the SNES Classic

The list of games coming to the SNES Classic Edition is missing a handful of truly amazing titles.

Here's why everyone is freaking out about 'Star Fox 2' on the SNES Classic

If you're not sure why the release of 'Star Fox 2' for the newly announced SNES Classic Ed is such a big deal, here's some context you may not be aware of.

5 times rappers repped video games with their chains — from Migos to Pharrell and 'Crash Bandicoot' to Kirby

Quavo's 'Crash Bandicoot' chain is the latest in a long-running trend. Leave it to hip-hop to bring the achievement trophy to entirely new levels of awesome.

The best Mac OS deals from the Steam Summer Sale

Despair no more: there are Mac games you can buy during the Steam Summer Sale. Here's out day 5 recap.

Why we need a new Bellator MMA video game

Here's why we need a Bellator MMA video game.

The ultimate guide to 'Pokémon Go' raid boss battles

Check out our roundup of every Pokémon you'll find during a raid in this 'Pokémon Go' raid boss list.

Here are five fantastic games that should have made their way onto the SNES Classic

The list of games coming to the SNES Classic Edition is missing a handful of truly amazing titles.

Here's why everyone is freaking out about 'Star Fox 2' on the SNES Classic

If you're not sure why the release of 'Star Fox 2' for the newly announced SNES Classic Ed is such a big deal, here's some context you may not be aware of.