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Pokémon GOing Away or Here to Stay?

August 22, 2016 — by Per Christensson

Pokémon GOing Away or Here to Stay?We all knew it wouldn't last forever. The Pokémon GO craze that swept through the world last month has already faded to a fraction of the popularity it had just a few weeks ago.

"Craze" is an apt word to describe rise of Pokémon GO in July. It was crazy how many people — young and old, male and female — got wrapped up in a game they had never played before. Many people who downloaded the app didn't even know what Pokémon was before they installed it.

I have lived in the same city for over ten years and I have never seen so many people swarm together at the park near my house. On a peaceful Tuesday night in mid-July, I decided to go for a run around the park at 11:00 PM. I expected the path to be pretty empty, but there were at least 200 Pokémoners walking around catching the little creatures on their phones. It made for quite an obstacle course.

While I didn't have my phone on me during my run, I was able to document some of the craziness at the end of July. Below is a photo I took at the local park on July 24.

Pokémon Go Crowds on July 24, 2016.

Over the past few weeks, the crowds have slowly dwindled and life has mostly returned to normal at the park. Below is a photo of the same area on August 19.

Pokémon Go Crowds on August 19, 2016.

So is Pokémon GO going away? It depends on how you look at it. No one expected the app to maintain it's sky-high popularity forever. But it's harder to predict if serious Pokémoners will continue playing the game for months or years to come. If I had to guess, I would say the app will continue its success for several years, but maybe at the rate of 10% of the peak it achieved shortly after its launch.

The more important thing IMO is that the Pokémon GO proves there is always a new phenomenon to be discovered. Too often I hear technology analysts claim that the last huge breakthrough was the biggest one we'll see in our generation. Google, Facebook, the iPhone, Uber — you name it — analysts say the same thing every time. What I love about technology is that when it's combined with our God-given creativity, there is no final breakthrough. There is always a new phenomenon waiting to be found. I look forward to the next one.