Pokemon Go loses steam in Vietnam

By Trung Van   September 28, 2016 | 10:55 pm PT
Pokemon Go loses steam in Vietnam
A boy plays Pokemon Go as he enjoys the mild weather at the start of the Labor Day weekend in Central Park, New York. Photo by Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich
The game fervor has cooled.

Launched in Vietnam on August 6, the mobile game Pokemon Go initially drew thousands of Vietnamese youngsters into a virtual world. Two months later, many say they're sick of the game.

Use of the keyword "Pokemon Go" has declined sharply in the past month on Vietnamese social networks. The number of members joining game groups on Facebook has plateaued and many are now leaving their groups.

“I’ve deleted the game and unliked the Pokemon Go Vietnam fanpage," said one user. "The more I play, the more bored I feel.”

Central areas and public spaces have ceased drawing mobs of Vietnamese players staring at their phones or scurrying around to hunt for animated animals.


Several players reported feeling discouraged by rampant cheating.

“I go running around trying to catch Pokemons while others achieve the same results, at home, using cheating software,” said Hoang Tuan, a university student.

In addition, a large number of users say they've satisified their curiosity about the game.

“After seeing a lot of my friends play Pokemon Go, I decided to download it," said Lan Huong, a hotel receptionist in Hanoi. "I quickly got bored of the game due to its simplicity.”

Pokemon Go has vanished from the list of Vietnam's most-downloaded applications at the Play Store (for the Android operating system) and the App Store (for iOS systems).

Senior game writer Tran Viet Quan said it's normal for those numbers to fall after a new game peaks and it would be unreasonable to conclude that interest in the game has died altogether in Vietnam.

Pokemon Go was first launched in the United States on July 6 and has since spread to 35 countries across the world, including Vietnam. The game soon quickly drew mobs of players into city streets, parks and restaurants, searching for animated creatures that the game displayed on their phones' cameras.

A report from Axiom Capital Management, a financial advisory firm, revealed that in August, the game lost more than 15 million daily users or a third of its peak users from mid-July.

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> Pokemon Go player has smartphone snatched in Saigon

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