With all new features to make life easier both in the personal and social aspects of the game, Niantic has seen a resurgence of active players. While not nearly at the 2016 levels where you’d find people Barbecuing at the city library at 3am with the cops bringing refreshments, there’s still an active presence of hard-core players welcoming in the new generation on the newly designed platform.
The feedback Niantic received wasn’t dealt with in the most professional manner, okay, they basically just sat there looking at the incredible numbers worldwide and didn’t want to mess with success. They sat back and waited too long, however, and ended up losing the majority of their players due to in-game ‘fixes’ that frequently just made the game harder to play, and more expensive overall to keep up with your community friends.
The surge of young people going into the park and calling the police on heroine addicts passed out next to trash cans, homeless people following them asking to borrow their phone and general feelings of unease led to an increased police / social worker presence overall and safer parks and main streets. While not at the 2016 levels, the 2019 players have access to a wider variety of city apps to report problems with a snap of a picture and a click of a button, making it a simpler process.
The game developers have, as of late, begun to essentially have on-the-web press conferences and news updates pushed to the users in-game regarding upcoming game play elements, community events and generally ways to try and get back that feeling of community that we used to have playing the game. The community days, for instance, offer a high-level character in amazing quantities for a very limited time, say a few hours, which brings most of the active players out to their favorite public locations to share the love of the game, and of course catch pokemon.
The resurgence of the game has led to fan inspired live action videos. Here’s an example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQijBTBOQmk
This year, Niantic took the community involvement to a new level and literally cleaned up the streets and parks with an event. These are the kind of feel-good events that we can all get behind, and no way make us feel like they have some kind of an agenda. It’s in keeping with the Web 2.0 positive ethos, so we’ll give them a pass and feel they did it for the environment. https://variety.com/2019/gaming/news/niantic-earth-day-2019-1203204693/