When Pokemon GO launched in 2016 it reached an unprecedented level of popularity. The mobile game was played on a scale unheard for a mobile game and at one point it even caused a stampede in New York City’s Central Park. But in 2017, it seems that the game just wasn’t that hot.
iOS platform holder Apple has now released its annual list of the top 20 most downloaded iOS games and Pokemon GO has not managed to secure a place. In first place is Super Mario Run, the platformer that Nintendo released in December 2016. The rest of the list is a solid mix of games that most will not have heard of, like 8 Ball Pool, Snake VS Block, and Ballz (2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively), and well-known titles like Clash Royale, Roblox, and Candy Crush Saga (17th, 18th and 20th, respectively).
The fact that Pokemon GO was unable to crack the top 20 may be surprising to some given that the game set the download charts alight in 2016. But the chart may just indicate that Pokemon GO has already found its entire player base. Over 500 million people have downloaded the game and it could just be that everyone who wants to play the game has already tried it or is currently an active player.
If that is the case then it highlights why Pokemon GO developer Niantic will need to do even more to keep the current player base entertained. If the player base is unable to grow much more – or enough to get it into the list of the top 20 most downloaded games, at least – then the current group of players is all that can sustain the game and its ongoing development. And as it stands, Pokemon GO players are unhappy with the state of the game.
However, Niantic is working on addressing these concerns and introducing new gameplay features that give players a reason to play Pokemon GO every single day. These include updates such as the dynamic weather system which affects Pokemon spawn rates and the power of certain Pokemon’s attacks. The developer has also introduced several new Gen 3 Pokemon for players to catch and collect.
Other improvements on the horizon include the full launch of the EX Raid battle feature as well as the hotly anticipated PvP and trading features. At this point, it’s unclear exactly how far these features will go towards appeasing disgruntled Pokemon GO players. Though, as Apple’s ‘most downloaded games’ chart shows, Niantic will need to make a significant, positive impact on these future updates.
Pokemon GO is available now on Android and iOS devices.