‘Poke­mon Go’ fans say maker heard their gripes

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Poke­mon

Few games have en­joyed both the me­te­oric rise — and sub­se­quent fall — in pop­u­lar­ity as “Poke­mon Go.”

But the game re­mains prof­itable, and peo­ple are still play­ing even if they aren’t the same masses that roamed parks last sum­mer with eyes glued to smart­phones, look­ing for elu­sive vir­tual mon­sters from their child­hood to ap­pear right in front of them.

“It kind of brings peo­ple to­gether to have a con­ver­sa­tion about these lit­tle car­toon char­ac­ters that we’re all in love with,” said Brian Swain, a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Rock­star en­ergy drink who has stuck with “Poke­mon Go” since it launched last July.

While past its hey­day last sum­mer, when some small busi­nesses and land­marks had com­plained of disruptive crowds, the game has seen re­newed in­ter­est af­ter last month’s ad­di­tion of 80 Poke­mon and in-game events set around hol­i­days.

The up­dates ad­dressed com­plaints about a lack of up­dates that con­trib­uted to a drop in monthly ac­tive users, ac­cord­ing to app mar­ket an­a­lyst App­topia.

“Over time, the en­thu­si­asm has waned, but there’s still quite a bit of peo­ple play­ing it,” said Joost van Dre­unen, the CEO and founder of Su­perData Re­search in New York. “It raises the ques­tion: Was it a fad, a thing we only did one time for one game, or is it going to hold peo­ple’s at­ten­tion longer?”

The game had gen­er­ated $1 bil­lion in rev­enue as of Jan­uary, and Niantic CEO John Hanke in­sists “Poke­mon Go” is no pass­ing fad.

The game — whose servers had

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