Pokémon Go transitions to Pokémon Gone

The University of Arizona campus is a popular hot spot for avid Pokémon Go users. (Photo by: Haley Ford/Arizona Sonora News)

The release of Pokémon Go sent millions of Pokémon fans into a frenzy to catch virtual creatures like Pikachu, Evee, and Dragonite after its release last summer, but has since lost its following among users.

“There was such a hype when it was coming out from my friends and family and of course I wanted to join the band wagon,” said Mariana Hyland.

Hyland was a Pokémon card fan as a child, but wanted to see what the game was all about. She was an avid user of the game and even an admin for the Pokémon Go Arizona Facebook page. Hyland was the definition of a Pokémon fanatic.

According to recent reports released by cross-platform analytics company comScore, Pokémon Go user rates peaked at 28.5 million users on July 13, 2016, while the application simultaneously became one of the fastest grossing apps to hit the app store.

Today, the Pokémon Go app still ranks third in Apple’s App Store Top Grossing category, but since its release Pokémon Go participation rates have leveled out around 5 million users and continue to decline.

The popular game featured first generation Pokémon characters and fan favorites that attracted many millennials who grew up fans of the traditional Pokémon card trading game and attracted new users who wanted in on the fun of hunting for virtual creatures.

“What attracted me to play Pokémon Go was that I watched the show when I was really little and followed it up to an older age. I was and still am a fan of it. Although when I was smaller I was more interested in it. I had toys, stuffed animals, cards, video games, etc. of Pokémon,” said Daniela Campos.

Campos considered herself a Pokémon Go fanatic, even admitting she would play while driving. She was addicted to hunting for Pokémon, and spent several hours a week around Tucson hot spots like Reid Park and The University of Arizona campus. Campos has since stopped playing Pokémon Go due to a lack of free time.

She mentioned that the game’s summertime release was a perfect way to kill free time during the long summer break, but her work and academic schedule had to become a priority after spending so much time on the app.

Similarly, Hyland said that she does not play Pokémon Go often either due to other time commitments and the pace of life.

While the virtual creatures will live on in the inter-webs, the user ratings have fallen victim to another millennial fad.

Haley Ford is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at haleycford@email.arizona.edu. 

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