Sunday 18 March 2018

FarmVille creator says popularity of Pokemon Go unlikely to last

Pokemon Go players in downtown Miami.
Pokemon Go players in downtown Miami.

The creator of former Facebook hit game FarmVille says wildly popular Pokemon Go may have limited appeal over the long run.

The game, which uses augmented reality, got a big lift because of old-fashioned word of mouth, says Amitt Mahajan.

Mr Mahajan, who is now a partner of VC firm Presence Capital, which invests in virtual reality and augmented reality, said p eople saw others walking around playing on their phones and wanted in. But that does not mean its popularity will last.

He said to etch itself into the cultural consciousness for years, like Candy Crush and Angry Birds, a game needs to add new levels or challenges often, and Pokemon Go may not be able to do that.

The app lets players follow a map in real life using their phone's GPS location data and catch Pokemon to train and battle.

Mr Mahajan said users could be turned off if they run out of nearby Pokemon to collect.

However, he said the game will still retain a smaller group of dedicated players.

A spokesman for Pokemon Go's developer declined to say how many users there were.

The craze has spread across the US with people falling over and bumping into things because they are so engrossed.

Two men who were playing fell off an ocean bluff in Southern California on Wednesday.

Encinitas firefighters say the men climbed through a fence. One man fell about 50 feet down the side of the unstable bluff and the other fell about 90 feet to the beach.

They were taken to a hospital with moderate injuries.

In Greenfield, Indiana, a sex offender was arrested after a probation officer spotted him playing Pokemon Go with a 16-year-old boy on the county courthouse lawn.

Currently, playing the game is more popular with US Android users than tweeting, binge watching TV on Netflix, or listening to music on Pandora or Spotify, according to research by digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb.

But the game still trails other popular apps such as Facebook Messenger, (22.1 percent), Instagram (13.1 percent), WhatsApp (10 percent) and Snapchat (8.3 percent).


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