Pokemon Go has been a hugely successful game. However, the success did not came without any road bumps along the way, such as the devs underestimated the amount of traffic at launch. But, Niantic pulled itself together, and while many have stopped playing the game, still it is one of the highest grossing games of the year.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Niantic Lab’s chief marketing officer Mike Quigley described the summer as quite painful, and revealed that they seriously underestimated some aspects of the game.
We were overwhelmed by how [Pokémon Go] took off. The success of the product caught us out of position in a couple of areas. The summer was quite painful–no one slept much.
Niantic Labs was heavily criticized for banning third-party apps on Pokemon Go, but Quigley defended the company’s decision by saying that they were forced to cut content just to keep the game running. “[The apps] were just crushing us on the server side. You’ve got to keep fans happy but you also have to keep the core product accessible”.
He further added that it was very important to take these difficult decisions, as the studio was worried that it would effect Nintendo and The Pokemon Company.
It’s not a good signal for their brand. That’s why we had to make some of those hard decisions like blocking third-party sites. It’s difficult but ultimately it’s the right thing to do for the life of the product.
He compared the success of Pokemon Go with World Of Warcraft, saying that the game’s lifespan will not be like other free-to-play mobile titles.
I think our lifespan and curve may be quite different from a free-to-play mobile game–it may be more in a Warcraft vein. We are more an MMO than anything else. Every two weeks there’s new content or bug fixes going in the game. There’re key content releases we’re planning.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game developed by Niantic Lab for iOS and Android.