‘Pokemon GO’ PVP Battles: Is It Really What The Game Needs?

Pokemon GO PVP battles are probably one of the top requests of avid players of the mobile game that brought us Pikachu, Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle. But is it really what the game needs?

In an in-depth analysis posted in Forbes, tech and gaming writer Paul Tassi noted that it might be important for the Pokemon Company, Nintendo, and the rest of the stock holders who are earning millions of dollars from Pokemon GO to come up with an “endgame” for the app.

This is because recently, the number of Pokemon GO players in different parts of the world where the game was rolled out first is beginning to drop.

Business Insider revealed a chart from Craig Palli of Fiksu that shows the trend on user retention for games that only require the use of a smartphone. According to the outlet, the attrition curves revealed in the Fiksu chart is consistent with massive open online courses (MOOCs).

A Reddit user noted that one of the reasons why players stop using the Pokemon GO app is because of a bug that eats up their device’s battery.

“Most of the casual players have quit because they got tired of a game that never works eating their battery. They’ve stopped scheduling time to go into town for Pokemon hunting,” his post read.

Luckily, Niantic is quick at rolling out a fix on this and a couple of other glitches in the game as the company’s CEO John Hanke assures that they will continue to expand the Pokedex further.

“There are some rare ones that haven’t showed up yet that will be showing up. And there are some other ones in the universe, it’s something we’re excited about continuing with in the coming years,” Hanke told Comic Book.

But while Pokemon GO enjoyed an intense hype upon its release, being the first mobile game that makes use of augmented reality and the catch-phrase “Catch ‘Em All” is still not enough to maintain the number of players enjoying the game. As the Forbes writer notes: what the app needs is an endgame.

While it may not be the same as World of Warcraft or other PC/console games, mobile games should still have an endgame in order to keep players from getting bored of it.

The article summed up Pokemon GO’s current endgame activities and the reasons why it would not be effective in making players stick around longer. The list begins with catching all the Pokemon and filling up the players’ Pokedex. This, says the outlet, is very difficult to do especially if the pocket monsters a player needs to complete his collection are either not appearing anywhere near him or are programmed to be found only in specific regions like this one.

Because of that, players turn to egg-hatching in hopes of getting a rare Pokemon from an egg that requires longer walks. Unfortunately, not many are willing to bet their effort to walk around to win a Pokemon from a lottery system where there is no guarantee of a rare Pokemon.

Increasing the level and hitting the maximum and winning gym battles are also some of the endgames of Pokemon GO, both of which are not easy to do and not motivating enough to make even an avid Pokemon fan keep playing.

Speaking of battles, there are Pokemon GO players who wish to be able to participate in PVP or player-versus-player battles without having to go to a Pokemon gym. While the idea may sound appealing to those who have watched how Ash Ketchum and his friends battle it out, it can become quite boring after a while.

“The benefit [of PVP battling] is…you could play your friends, which might be fun the first five times, but probably not after. Maybe you could play random strangers online, but I’m not sure that would be any better,” Tassi noted.

Pokemon GO is already available for smartphone users in dozens of countries all over the world, but the United States already had a head-start on catching them all. Let’s just hope that Niantic comes up with a better endgame than that.

[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]