Niantic’s latest Pokemon Go post might seem like a mundane thank-you note for all its many awards, but there are two bits buried within worth noting. The first revolves around the game’s stats, and the second suggests improvements to gameplay.
“We continue to be inspired by the passion of the 65+ million people from around the world playing Pokémon GO each month. We’re still at the beginning of the journey and there’s a lot more to come. With spring arriving in the northern hemisphere, players can look forward to all new cooperative social gameplay experiences in Pokémon GO that will give Trainers new and exciting reasons to get back into the sunshine.”
Niantic is counting 65M players, which adds to the perspective we already had that the game has been downloaded 650M times and made a billion bucks. Earlier this month, we reported on a ComScore data release that suggested the game has fallen from its peak of 28.5M daily users to 5M.
Players also glommed onto the “all new cooperative social gameplay experiences” section. While initially we assumed that was just marketing speak, dataminers have dug up evidence (in the form of new toast code) that gym raids are on the way. It’s not clear that the two are one and the same, but it’s a good bet.
Finally, MOP’s Andrew also pointed out that Niantic has finally opened a help account on Twitter. You might think it’s strangely late in the game’s development to do this, and you’d be right. Managing the game’s community has not come easy to the studio, as we’ve previously argued. Indeed, that’s partly by design: Niantic’s David Hollin recently sat for an interview with A-to-J Connections (via Pokemon Go Hub) and explained that while he has personally enjoyed diving into PoGo’s major fansites and Reddits, they can become “a little bit too toxic.” Consequently, he says,
“Me and a lot of other team members sort of find it much better for us just to not be involved, which is kind of a bummer because it’s really meant to be an avenue for engagement with the developers.”