A Niantic employee comments on the status of Pokemon Go at an event.
Pokemon Go is as controversial as it gets for a mobile game. At launch in July the game was off the charts popular. In the past weeks the hype has settled and some sort of normality set in. Pokemon Go is still massively popular. SurveyMonkey estimates that 15 million play Pokemon Go each week. That is four times as many as Clash of Clans has.
Clash of Clans is though making much more money right now as the game is the top grossing game on US iTunes and Pokemon Go is only ranked 5th.
Niantic has been hit with criticism basically from day one. First player complained about the instability of the game caused by the popularity. Then it was about Niantic taking away the in-app tracker followed by the whole cat and mouse game with 3rd party developers. That game is soon going to be won again by the 3rd party developers as they have broken the latest security measure and captcha deployment. Pokemon Go tracker FastPokeMap is expected to be working again latest Sunday. Pokemon Go botters will stay locked out as the creator of FastPokeMap is likely not sharing the new Pokemon Go API.
A side show is Niantic's fight against trainers of rooted Android phones. Google changed again SafetyNet this week, blocking rooted users. There are already again work arounds. Many more call now for Niantic to drop the SafetyNet requirement, including the developer of FastPokeMap, who believes that Niantic hurts trainers with its security measures.
Another huge topic with trainers is the game itself. Catching Pokemon and Gym battles in the current form are not excitng anymore to many trainers. The daily grinding for XP.
An employee of Niantic said at a panel discussion this week according to a reddit post, that it is page one of chapter one for Pokemon Go and it's not even fully released. This statement is on the one hand giving hope to Pokemon Go trainers that the game will become much more interesting to play. On the other hand, this means that Niantic has released the game too early. The game was not finished and is now running into the risk of losing its player base.
Niantic's CEO John Hanke said in an interview in September that it is still early stages for Pokemon Go. He also talked about hosting real world community events like the company does for Ingress.
Given the overall sentiment in social media, a major release of Pokemon Go is urgent. The small improvements introduced in the latest update are not having the necessary impact. More Pokemon Go News.