Chart of the Week: Can Pokémon Go Keep Up with Itself?

Since launching in the U.S. (and Australia and New Zealand) on July 6, Nintendo’s Pokémon Go has taken the mobile game world by storm. Subsequent launches in Europe have reportedly overloaded servers and delayed planned launches in Asia.

When we’re not busy chasing down Pikachus and heading to the next Poké Stop, we’re asking ourselves: can Pokémon Go keep up with its own popularity? Verto Analytics’ latest report on the mobile gaming industry shows that less than 20 percent of mobile game players stick around after more than 30 days, and of those, as few as 2% of active players make in-app purchases over the course of their mobile game experience.

With that in mind, we took a look at user numbers and sessions over the first 11 days of Pokémon Go’s launch in the US (among adults 18+, Android only).

Has Pikachu Peaked?

Our data shows that while user growth is beginning to plateau, the number of sessions across all users continues to ebb and flow, although there’s a gradual decrease in number of sessions after the game’s first week on the market.

Surprisingly, the standard workweek hasn’t had a huge impact on player activity – in fact, the number of sessions peaked on July 11, a Monday, and most spikes in average sessions per user have also occurred on weekdays (Friday, July 8 and Wednesday, July 13). Our data tracks U.S. adults, 18+, so we’re wondering if Pokémon Go is having any impact on workplace productivity (or extended lunch breaks, for that matter).

What’s Next?

Pokémon Go is only 2 weeks old (in the U.S.; it’s an even newer game in Europe and is just launching in key Asian markets), but it’s already had a profound impact on the gaming industry: Nintendo’s value has increased by billions, and many are questioning if AR will overtake VR as the next hot thing in gaming. But despite all the buzz, Pokémon Go still has to overcome that thorny user engagement and retention metric, which will ultimately determine the long-term success of the game – both in terms of user numbers as well as revenues. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the (Poké) ball over the next few months to see if Pokemon Go can beat the odds.

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