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Fads nowadays may leave at the same cybernetically-enhanced speed with which they came, but this seems abrupt even so. A new study by Axiom Capital Management (via Bloomberg) suggests that Pokémon Go’s moment in the sun may be ending less than two months after it launched worldwide.
Drawing on data aggregated by Sensor Tower, Apptopia, and SurveyMonkey, the report shows that the mobile augmented reality game has endured a steady, month-long decline that has taken it from a worldwide peak of 45 million active users in mid-July to hovering just above 30 million as of last week. Daily downloads, time spent on the app, and engagement has all dropped sharply as well.
Pokémon Go swept through the mobile gaming market on July 5, became an internet cultural touchstone, and essentially put augmented gaming on the map. The unexpected popularity sent Nintendo shares skyrocketing, adding $7 billion to the company’s market value in one fell swoop, and led to a groundswell of interest in augmented reality, with Google searches for the term swelling dramatically shortly after the game’s debut.
Pokémon Go’s smashing success was a cause of consternation for investors who feared that Pokémon Go was stealing mindshare from other mobile apps, like Facebook and Snapchat. According to Axiom senior analyst Victor Anthony, Pokémon Go’s moment has now passed, which should be ample cause for relief for Tinder’s C-Suite. In tandem with Pokémon Go’s declining fortunes, interest in augmented reality has fallen whereas virtual reality is still a trending term on Google.
Part of the reason may be the fact that Pokémon Go has not had a significant upgrade since its debut. Once you can trade, and the rest of the Pokémon are incorporated into the game, Pokémon Go will likely be all the rage again.