Pokemon Go was an instant success when it was first launched last July 6, 2016 in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. But as the game became more widely played, it became more.. boring.
It has become somewhat predictable – you collect Pokemon, get Pokeballs, train or fight in Gyms, etc. There was nothing else to do, and this affected the game’s user base. Multiple reports suggested that a number of players are starting to drop the game. PC Mag even reported that “the game’s active user count had fallen from a high of around 45 million daily active users in mid-July to around 30 million in late August.”
To address these problems, Niantic will be adding a new dynamic to the game: the buddy system.
In the buddy system, you’ll be able to pick your favorite Pokemon from your collection and make it your buddy. Your chosen buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your trainer avatar on your profile screen, and will add helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. If you’ve grown tired of your buddy, no worries. You’ll be allowed to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time you want.
Niantic hopes this new feature would help them bring back Pokemon Go users who already quit. Or at least, retain their current user base.
We have to ask though: is it too hard to ask for the ability to fight/train with random trainers outside Gyms?