Now that the insane, oh-my-god-it’s-everywhere hype cycle has tapered off a bit for Pokémon GO, Niantic gets to crack the classic startup conundrum: How the heck do they keep people coming back?
They could introduce another generation of Pokémon to pacify everyone who’s already caught ’em all, but that’s got an inherently finite lifespan; give it a few weeks, and the demands for a third generation will be just as loud. Niantic needs to figure out things that keep people opening the app without requiring a constant churn of new content.
The company is about to take its first swing at the problem: daily bonuses. The more regularly you play, the more you’re rewarded.
Here’s how it works:
- The first time you visit a Pokéstop or catch a Pokémon each day, you’ll get a small bonus — extra items from the Stop, extra stardust from the Pokémon and 500 XP from each.
- If you visit a Pokéstop or catch a Pokémon every day for a week straight, you get a bigger bonus — even more items, even more stardust and 2,000 XP.
While it’s not the sort of change that’ll convert anyone who isn’t already a fan, these sorts of bonuses certainly do help to make sure existing fans keep coming back (as proven by the Halloween event, which apparently brought in a big revenue boost). The next logical step from here would be daily challenge quests — things like “Catch a fire Pokémon in the next 24 hours to get a new hat!” — but for now, they’re keeping it simple. Just catch a Pokémon, any Pokémon, and they’re happy.
Alas, the daily bonus feature isn’t rolled out just yet — but the team says it should come soon.
Now, if they would just go ahead and fix tracking…