How Long Will the Pokemon Go Fad Last?--GameSpot Q&A

Below are our thoughts on how long Pokemon Go's popularity will last.


Welcome back to GameSpot Q&A, a section where we ask our staff and readers an interesting discussion question about video games. Look at this as a forum where you and others can discuss and compare your opinions of this beloved hobby of ours. Let us know what your answer is to this week's question in the comments below!

This week's question is:

How Long Will the Pokemon Go Fad Last?

Ever since its launch, Pokemon Go has skyrocketed in popularity, becoming the subject of conversation for Pokemon fans everywhere. While the app's popularity has yet to wane, we've decided to ask ourselves ahead of time: how long will Pokemon Go's popularity last? Come and discuss it with us!

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A Strong Start Shows Promise for the Future | Eddie Makuch, News Editor

Pokemon Go doesn't feel like a fad. Even before Pokemon Go's release, seemingly everyone knew about the Pokemon franchise--even my mom and probably yours. That makes it stand apart from a game like Draw Something, which everyone was talking about for about two weeks. I think Pokemon Go is a wonderful game that is simple yet profound. Walking around my neighborhood in search of Pokemon for the past week is an experience I never thought I'd get to have. The idea of catching Pokemon in the real world is pretty much genius, and while there are no doubt some things that could be improved, the game is off to a very solid start. Developer Niantic Labs will surely address the feedback through future updates; it feels as if the game is only going to get better. We know new features such as trading are on the way and it's exciting to think about what else Niantic might be cooking up to keep players engaged. Pokemon Go is sitting at the top of the charts now and, though it may not be there forever, never bet against Pokemon.

More Life to Breathe | Zorine Te, Editor

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While I think that the Pokemon Go fever will calm down after a few months, the game is definitely here to stick it out for some time. It's a game for Pokemon fans after all, and dedicated fans want nothing more than to catch them all. This goal could take a while to achieve. If Niantic plays its cards right and smooths out server issues and introduces enough new features at the right time to keep interest high, then the game has a lot more life in it to elevate its status above that of merely a fad. If anything, Pokemon Go's insane popularity is what led to its server stability issues, which have in turn made me less inclined to boot up the game at regular intervals. Once everything's all good to go, however, I'm hopping right back on the PokeTrain.

Fuel the Fire or It’ll Simply Burn Out | Scott Butterworth, Editor

The length of the fad hinges entirely on Niantic’s ability to deliver updates. If it can roll out features like trading and battling in a timely manner, it’ll be able to sustain interest for weeks or even months. Added depth will inevitably and perhaps indefinitely fuel the game’s longevity. If Niantic can’t consistently feed the public's insatiate appetite for all things Pokemon, however, interest will naturally wane, and eventually even the introduction of legendary Pokemon won’t be enough to resuscitate the phenomenon. Regardless, I’m fairly confident we’ve already seen peak frenzy for Pokemon Go; now we just have to wait and see how many people are willing to stick around when all they can really do is catch more Zubats.

Don't Worry--It'll Be Over Soon | Randolph Ramsay, Editor In Chief

Yes, of course this is a fad. There is absolutely no way Pokemon Go can dominate the cultural conversation in the same it has over the last few weeks. The clock is ticking, and pretty soon you won't see Pokemon Go pop up in your news/social network feeds any more. That said, I'm certain Pokemon Go can remain a strong game, and will certainly be one of the most-used mobile games for a long while yet. A lot of people will naturally fall off and stop playing altogether, but for a huge group, it'll still remain a compelling (and hopefully less buggy) experience. Despite its many shortcomings, Pokemon Go has absolutely nailed the compelling collection loop of the mainline Pokemon games, and that alone will make sure this title has a strong and loyal following of players wanting to "catch 'em all.".

If Ingress--Niantic's previous game and the technical basis for Pokemon Go--could sustain an audience numbering in the millions, then imagine what Pokemon Go can do long-term.

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