It’s not me that thinks Pokemon Go is dying, I love the game and still play it almost every day. I’ve slowed down due to living in a rural town and being near the end of the Pokedex, but I’m still quite into it. However blogs and internet sites far and wide are doomsaying the heck out of Pokemon Go. Making claims that include millions of people who have stopped playing. There’s a lot of talk, so I want to write a post about exactly what I think the problem is.
For me the problems stem from Niantic’s poor decision making. Instead of finishing the worldwide roll out, they’re adding new features. Instead of fixing the tracker, they’re adding new features. New features are great and all, I love the Buddy System, the appraisal system is a bit meh, but all in all the features are definitely needed. However timing is kinda an issue.
The game hasn’t released in a lot of countries yet, including India. To put that in perspective, I started playing this game two months and one week ago. So for two months and one week India have been ignored – that’s about one billion people. If this game is to truly be worldwide then Niantic need to buck up and get it released. Stop adding new features and start working on getting it out there.
Of course, a lot of this could have been avoided had Niantic not released the game stupidly unfinished. Adding new features down the line is to be expected, totally, but what it seems like we’ve been given as players is a very bare bones product. It’s like buying a PC but only being sent the case and the motherboard. Now this would be a-okay if you could then pick the other parts to your liking – except instead what we’re getting is Niantic shipping parts out to us, then requesting them back see; the tracking system.
This is super frustrating to players. We want to be involved with this game and help shape it into something amazing, and there is no sense of Niantic hearing us. I watch a fair few Pokemon Go blogs, I go to Pokemon Go communities online, I even check Twitter hashtags. There are thousands and thousands of people out there and they all seem to be saying the same few things that get totally ignored. Niantic don’t even give any indication of listening to players. They’re kinda like the George RR Martin of video game release in that they just seem to keep saying that the “new features are coming, oh they’re almost here, they’re going to be amazing when they get here!”. All whilst ignoring one simple thing; players just want the damn tracker back.
So yeah, I would be totally unsurprised if millions of players had stopped playing. Between Niantic’s lack of communication with its player base on a game with heavy social interaction elements. Their lack of ability to either roll out a completed product, or even roll out an uncompleted product worldwide and also the sheer ignorance towards one of the most widely talked about issues; the tracker. Niantic are really going to be rubbing people the wrong way and crippling their own userbase and product at the same time.
Please Niantic, listen to your fans, talk with them. Be involved with your userbase and let them guide how you develop this game further. Otherwise… you risk losing it all.