Why Pokemon Go may have passed its peak
It is quite possibly the biggest gaming phenomenon of the smartphone age - but is the popularity dwindling? Since the AR app launched, Pokemon Go has swept up gamers in a craze of monster-catching across the world. Just a week after its release in the US, Apple said the game had broken the App Store record for most downloads in a week.
Gamers chasing down the likes of Pikachu and Snorlax have filled public spaces - such as New York's Central Park - with congregations of people wandering about with phones in hand.
But now, a month since Pokemon Go's release, independent analysis suggests its popularity has plummeted.
Some churn was only to be expected - the huge publicity it generated was always going to have attracted players who would briefly try it out and then set it aside.
However, the drop-off occurred during a period when the app was launching across much of Asia and Latin America as well as France. How many players has Pokemon Go lost?
No official figures on Pokemon Go's downloads have been made public, but according to data compiled by Axiom Capital Management, more than 10 million players have turned away since mid-July.
Pokemon Go's Daily Active Users (DAUs) - an industry metric that determines how many people switch on an app each day - suggested that the game edged close to 45 million users on 17 July. By 16 August, that figure fell to just above 30 million.
Niantic was, by its own admission, caught off-guard by the sheer popularity of Pokemon Go, but it has pledged to continue supporting the game with bi-weekly updates.
"Running a product like Pokemon Go at scale is challenging," the developer recently wrote on its blog.
For now, the game has yet to be released across many parts of Asia and Africa, which could improve its usage figures once the game arrives in those territories.
However, Mr Chapple believes that fewer people playing Pokemon Go in the West could diminish the game's social aspect, which in turn would make it a less attractive game for those who stick around.
"Pokemon Go is unique. At the moment it relies on people in your local area playing with you, not someone on the other side of the world. If the numbers continued to drop so dramatically, who will be left to play you in your small, local town?"