Not a few observers have been remarking that Pokémon GO seems to be losing steam. Niantic Labs must have noticed, and to stem the bleeding, it's holding a Halloween event to get players interested again and it seems to be working.
After Pokémon GO's Halloween update was released last Oct. 26, the game immediately zoomed to the top spot in the App Store ranking. It was a massive respite since the app has been languishing in the bottom rung of the top 10 last week.
The Halloween update is particularly interesting for players because the game now gives out double the amount of candies for catching monsters or when transferring monsters to Professor Willow. Buddies will also help players get candies four times as fast. These candies are used to upgrade collected pocket monsters.
Rare creatures such as ghosts and spooky monsters are also more likely to make appearances more than usual. Players should prepare to meet Ghastly, Meowth and Marowak, Haunter, Gengar, Zubat, Golbat, Cubone, Drowzee and Hypno if the teaser video that Niantic released to promote the event is any indication. The spawn rates for monsters associated with Team Rocket have also been increased.
For those interested about the new update features independent of the Halloween event, there is the manner by which eggs have different patterns depending on the distance required to hatch them. For example, Pokémon eggs that'll hatch after covering 2 kilometers are covered in green spots. Eggs that'll hatch in 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer distances are covered in yellow and purple spots, respectively.
Pokémon type icons have also been added to a Pokémon's information screen. A low battery indicator was also added to the Pokémon GO Plus. These changes were introduced in the version 0.43.3 for Android and 1.13.3 for iOS devices last Oct. 23.
The Halloween event will run until Nov. 1. The excitement will most likely peter out again after that date as everything returns to the way things were. Barring a major update with a change to the gameplay, a declining user engagement if not entirely declining user base seems inevitable. This is part of a disturbing trend for Pokémon GO, which began to emerge in August. Around this time, paying player base dropped as much as 79 percent from the July 15 peak.
While those figures should be alarming to some investors, it's important to note that Pokémon GO is still one of biggest moneymakers in the mobile-gaming world, claiming a significant chunk of the mobile game spending to date.