John Hanke, CEO of Pokemon Go creator Niantic, is confident the game will thrive for a number of years, dismissing suggestions that its popularity would be short-lived.
Pokemon Go last week passed the 500 million download mark after launching in July, and has broken numerous app records along the way.
Despite this, questions have been raised over whether Pokemon Go will be a fad, following reports of a downturn in usage, downloads and engagement.
Speaking at the Disrupt SF 2016 event, Hanke said the company had indeed been taken by surprise at the huge level of popularity following launch, revealing its initial plan “was to gradually bring people on board and teach them about the game”.
“It all got compressed in the span of two to three weeks and everyone that had a smartphone took interest,” he said.
Hanke declined to reveal how many daily active users’ the game now had, but did acknowledge it had experienced a decrease after the initial hype, as the games’ users “begin to mature”.
“Some people have now exited the game and we have experienced some churn,” he said. “We are left with the people that are still playing, and a small but steady influx of new players.”
And Hanke is confident that the game’s social aspect, which encourages players to interact with each other, will be enough to maintain interest long term.
“People playing out in the real world, with a social dynamic of bonding, is the heart of a long lived gaming experience.”