Why is Pokemon GO-ing to fail?

1. Pokemon GO is a mobile game designed with long play times

Mobile games these days have been developed for short play session times (7 minutes on average) due to shorter attention spans of people, multitasking and people just looking to kill time. Pokemon GO has an average session of 33 minutes, which would mean people are actively taking time to play the game and not just to kill a short few minutes of boredom, however, the game is simplistic and repetitive, making it hugely boring over time which means that it will quickly loose out to other activities of people’s daily lives.

2. Pokemon GO does not have a storyline

RPGs need story development to keep the player engaged and follow along, Pokemon GO has none.

3. Niantic/Nintendo do not share the same DNA

Niantic seemed to have full autonomy on all things Pokemon GO, over the past weekend, they released a down-date(opposite of update)that removed any form of tracking and requested third party pokemon mappers to shut down. It was clearly a concern for Pokemon GO players, and was reflected in the session at Comic Con. Nintendo would never have done that. (Even though Game shark and other cheats plagued previous Nintendo games, Nintendo didn’t take massive action to stop them.)

Left: First version of Pokemon GO where you can see how close you are to Pokemon. Right: July 30th “update” now only tells you what is around you with no indication if you are closer or further away.

4. In-app purchases are not subscription

In-app purchases are not subscription based, there is a minimum number of players who needs to keep buying in-app items to keep servers going. As time goes by fewer and fewer people will pay for in-app items and when that goes past breakeven point, Niantic servers can go dark, making users lose everything they’ve previously bought. Everyone’s access to the game and data will also be lost at that point, all that hard work will go to waste.

On 29th July 2016, a long running game Attack on Titan(clash of clans in Japan) terminated it’s servers. The anime series is planned to return this year but the game couldn’t make it until then.

In addition, in-app purchases also don’t work for bandwagons that don’t last past the two week buyer’s remorse period.

5. Pokemon Go plus wristbands ship too late

Selling your goods before the hype is over is extremely important. Changing the release date of the wristbands is risky as there will be skids and skids of stock that arrive to the store due to difference between anticipated demand at the time of hype and actual demand when the hype dies down. Nintendo looking at a write-off for unsold Pokemon GO wristbands possibly in Q1 of 2017.

While it looked all rosy at the beginning, it is looking more and more as a write-off.