Niantic's "Three Strike" policy for bans will reduce Pokemon Go's popularity

If you are still playing "Pokemon Go" today, you probably would realised that Niantic is introducing a "Three Strike" policy for bans. While the intention is to keep players from spoofing, I believe this will eventually drive earnings down. 

Pikachu crying over the new policy

An example was an incident a year ago that was reported in most of the games portal. Dave Summers, a hardcore Pokemon Go player, who spent over $2,400 in microtransactions and claimed to even travel to as far as San Francisco from Arizona, was banned, first for receiving warnings for an offensive usernames and then being completely for a assortments of reports. 



Of course, that did not seemed to slow Niantic, the developer for the game, which was said to have hit a revenue of US$1.8 billion in the two years since its release on iOS and Android platforms. According to analyst Sensor Tower, players around the world are likely to continue to spend a whopping $2 million each day with the United States and Japan being the lead player spending, comprising about 34% and 28% respectively of the game's revenue. 

Well, with such a strong stats, it's no wonder that the developer would imagined such trend would continue even though if they were to introduce ridiculous bans on "Pokemon Go" players. But if the stats are correct, about $470 million was earned during the first 80 days following its launch. In other words, more than a quarter of the earnings came when the game was still new, when spoofing was still allowed, when there is no such thing as a ban. 

While I'm not supporting people to simply spoof around using third party apps in the game, I think it would be killing off a big portion of the players that are into the game. Let's not forget that the augmented reality game is so popular not because it's augmented but because of the Pokemon brand and the fans that love it. 

If Niantic were to continue to ban others and even permanently disabling some of the players, "Pokemon Go" would eventually be a game that has all the big potential but fall at the wrong hands of the developers. Let's not forget that the popularity of the game has diminished over time as a result of the inconsistency of the catch rates, the lack of feel good factor after playing the game and also the inconvenience for some others who are staying in region that are not so suitable for the game. Nintendo would do well to figure out what's best for the Pokemon brand. After all, not all the brands could rake in US$1.8 billion in two years, or an average of close to a billion every year.

Anyway, for those of you who are unaware of the "Three Strike" policies, here you go. And if you're thinking of spending money in the game, make sure that there is no way you will be banned from the game. Because Niantic will not discuss the whys and appeals are likely to be ignored given the number of people that will be slapped with such bans. 

Strike 1: Warning

If this strike is issued, you will see a warning message within the Pokémon GO app informing you that we have detected cheating on your account. In addition to this warning, your gameplay experience may be degraded in the following ways for the duration of the warning:

You may not be able to encounter rare Pokémon in the wild. These Pokémon may not appear on the map or on the Nearby Pokémon tracker. You may be excluded from receiving new EX Raid Passes.

Duration: This strike will last for approximately 7 days. After this period, your gameplay experience will fully be restored.

Strike 2: Suspension

If your account is issued a second strike, you will temporarily lose access to your Pokémon GO account. When attempting to log into the game, you'll be presented with a message stating that your account is suspended. You will not be able to bypass this message.

Duration: This strike will last for approximately 30 days. After that period, your account access will be restored.

Strike 3: Termination

If you receive the first and second strikes and continue to cheat, your account will be permanently banned.

Duration: Permanent

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