After the initial success of Pokemon Go, Pokemon Duel turned out to be a seemingly major flop. Aside from the lack of attention, below are several reasons why the game lacked popularity despite its large fanbase.
The year 2016 was a major hit for the Pokemon franchise after launching its very first official mobile game and seventh generation in the mainline series. Both new and old fans appreciated the real-life factor to the mobile game as it transformed fiction into reality. ARC reports that the main highlight of the spin-off was its simplicity as almost anyone could easily get into the game.
Overall, the title had millions of installs while collecting almost $950 million worth of revenue. With this in mind, it would only seem natural to release and promote yet another title under the same platform. Instead, the franchise then brought over a ported mobile Pokemon game in the west that literally took everyone by surprise since it lacked any promotional content beforehand.
Pokemon Duel vs Pokemon Go
Like its predecessor, this new game is also free-to-play on Google Play and the iOS App Store and revolves around the said franchise. However, this is where the similarities between both titles end. The Duel game requires more precision and strategy rather than having to simply toss a ball and call it a day.
The spinoff itself is a mobile 'board game' wherein six Pokemon battle their opponents on a grid-like map. The player's main aim is to navigate their monsters to capture the opponent's base. With its seemingly complex nature, the game takes some inspiration from chess, backgammon and Magic the Gathering.
So far, the game only racked up a total score of 3.4 stars on Google Play while consumers complained that it is 'buggy and unresponsive,' 'highly unstable' and is a 'useless piece of junk.' Aside from the various technical difficulties, the game itself requires too much effort for the casual players.
Creating simple games is one key factor when trying to target the mobile market. Titles like Flappy Bird, Temple Run, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans gained so much attention was because of its basic mechanics. The game itself was actually released in the Japan a year before and it is understandable to why The Pokemon Company delayed bringing the game abroad, as per Forbes.
With all of its various signs and gacha elements, Pokemon Duel seems like something Nintendo did not design. Aside from innovative gameplay, their current releases like Super Mario Run became a hit for its clean layout and lack of pressure for additional purchases. For these stated reasons, it seems highly unlikely that Duel will ever match up to the level of Pokemon Go.