From a monetization and community perspective this release of Pokémon Go is flat-out a disaster, and Niantic’s lack of experience is showing.
Players would have hung tight if the company had been open and communicative. Instead, they’ve shut off features, and excised the scavenger hunt, one of the *the* most compelling elements of the game.
Games as a service mean that you have to understand how to serve your audience, and keep the fundamentals intact. Even if the fun isn’t where you initially thought it was, if you’re lucky enough to capture lightning in a bottle it’s your job to keep it going for as long as possible.
The murky relationship between Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Google, and Niantic has me wondering if there isn’t a lot more going on here than we’ve so far been privy too.
Hopefully they can get the freedom they need to make this game better, but I can guarantee a lot of the users that are leaving right now will never be coming back.
They already had a small window to make this game work – by the time Winter arrives trudging through the streets to catch imaginary creatures is going to be a *lot* less appealing. Now it looks like they’ve wounded themselves right when the should be locking their audience in.