As it stands, back in August it was reported that more than 10 million users bailed on the game, where in July, they had 45m daily users and in August, it was down to 30M. Which is still a healthy chunk of a database of users, but that headline of 10 million can be an eye-catcher!
Then later numbers say the game lost 79% of it's user base after a few months.Yet by the beginning of November, the game generated over $600M in revenue!
But with close to 80% of their players being between the ages of 18 and 34, well, there's a lot of loose change to be had there. Considering that it's said that it still makes $2M a day off its users.
But where does that leave the casual player?
In limbo, to some degree.
UPDATE: Just an hour after posting, I saw an updated set of numbers saying that the user base has dropped to 4% of the peak user base and that Niantic is making roughly $1M a day. (Nice to see updated numbers, and obviously Niantic is doing well!)
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Of late, I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but when they released Ditto into the wild, the catch phrase was to catch everything in sight to find a ditto. And of course doing that would deplete your PokeBall supply pretty fast. Even as we learned that Ditto was hiding out as Gobat, Pidgey or Rattata's and the like.
Then it seemed that Niantic might have noticed something because after the Ditto rush, I think they saw a spike in sales as folks were probably restocking up on PokeBalls because they went nuts trying to find Ditto. And for what? Ditto SUCKS in battle, no matter who he looks like!
But after the Ditto thing, I noticed there were a lot more Pokemon in the wild and after less than two weeks, instead of trying to balance out my overstuffed bag of PokeBalls, I found myself throwing my last UltraBall at a 10CP Pidgey! And it hit me... they must have stacked the inventory so we toss more balls at everything and then we go and buy more crap!
Even if the user-base sits at around 20M users, if we all dropped a mere $5 on one re-up on supplies, well, that's a chunk of change. And for what? To repeat running out of the supplies again?
Here's my tactic with using PokeBalls:
I try to move in on a gym only AFTER my 21 hour restriction is up. It's a waste of time to try and od it before your timer count down because someone else will come along and tear your gym down. They're too easy to beat.
As far as what I throw at monsters:
When things were good in the early days, I learned that sometimes even after throwing THIRTY PokeBalls at a monster does not good. I deduced that a monster cannot be caught, no matter what, it it's not caught in the first few shots.
Now I may be wrong about that theory, but after a proper tactical approach, if I can't catch something in three throws, I'm gone. But you need to know how to value your throws. If you toss six balls at a 50CP Pidgey, what a waste. But I've also seen standard balls catch 800CP monsters in one throw! I don't know what the magic combo is, but again, no more than three balls. Usually.
Whether that three balls includes a basic, a great and an ultra, if I don't care about the monster, I will toss basics. If I think I am interested in catching it, but not in a big way, I might ratchet up to a great ball or even start with a great ball and graduate to an ultra. If I REALLY WANT the mon, I just start with an ultra ball and toss a razz berry for good measure.
But to be honest, anything over three seems to repeatedly be a waste of time.
Especially now-a-days, when all you're getting out of PokeStops are three items per spin, and those aren't always balls.
Then there's the thinning inventory balance game.
If I keep finding myself short of PokeBalls... I just stop capturing and focus on adding distance to my walking buddy, hatching eggs, spinning stops and getting my daily bonus to avoid breaking that streak. And if I do feel daring, I throw one and only one ball and move on. And once I'm back up to a decent inventory, I'll go back at it.
To be honest, we, the players need to make statements to let Niantic know what we like and don't like. I am making my statement by NOT spending money on inventory of any kind. I'm done. I did it once or twice and it felt like I wasted my money for the short amount of time that I benefited from it.
If you look at it from an investment perspective, how hard have you worked to collect your balls, and how many you have thrown, to gather up a mere 100 units of Stardust?
If we stop paying or make a big enough noise, I'm sure Niantic will modify things a little bit for us.
Or not... because there are 10M users out there who don't need their money for real things like life and will spend it on fun things only. Yes, I'm jealous. But this process, as it stands, definitely dings the casual user and forces us into this economy mode of playing.
Not saying the economy mode isn't fun, it's just slower and requires patience. Otherwise, the game is still the same. And it's still kind of engaging.
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