Pokémon GO suffered due to its own immense popularity

Hype and hipsters aside, looking at the numbers, part of Pokémon GO’s problem, and the reason why it has garnered a lot of hate (other than the fact that people like to hate on things once they reach a certain level of popularity), is because it didn’t just surpass Niantic’s launch traffic positions. It blew them out of the water.

According to Google’s Director of Customer Reliability Engineering, Luke Stone:

Throughout my career as an engineer, I’ve had a hand in numerous product launches that grew to millions of users. User adoption typically happens gradually over several months, with new features and architectural changes scheduled over relatively long periods of time. Never have I taken part in anything close to the growth that Google Cloud customer Niantic experienced with the launch of Pokémon GO.

As a teaser, I’ll start with a picture worth a thousand words:


Cloud Datastore Transactions Per Second

Just look at those numbers. That is INSANE. Was it ignorant of Niantic to think that anything with Pokémon officially in the name wouldn’t explode? I don’t think it was. Mobile gaming is extremely hit or miss. There are some really great games that people will never play, because they didn’t catch on, and there are some truly awful games that people do play that are… lacking.

Niantic suffered greatly due to their own success. That doesn’t excuse the poor decisions they made to deal with the success, but at least it provides insight into how completely over saturated they truly were.

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