What DID happen to Pokémon GO anyway? It was all over the place one year ago, but all of a sudden, the fad seemed to more or less die out and being an outsider to the whole deal, I'm rather clueless as to what its current state is and if the hype DID die at all.
The fad died as all fads do, but by September or so, even the people who liked the game and wanted to see it do well had just stopped caring. I think a lot of it was due to the fact that the EXP requirements for leveling up became exponential once you hit level 20, with each one requiring literally twice as much EXP as the one before it, so you’d hit level 15 or so pretty quickly, get to level 20 at a normal pace, and then you’d be lucky to level up once every two weeks or so.
Another issue is that the limited Pokedex size limited a lot of what you could do after a while. If you just wanted a full Pokedex, you’d be able to get maybe two-thirds of the way there without too much struggle and then fucking nothing, because everything left at that point was either evolutions that required catching like 50 of the previous stage or stupidly rare stuff like Lapras and Snorlax that you’d pretty much only see if you got lucky next to a major landmark. The gym takeover/battle aspect stagnated quickly as well - when the game was new, everyone was on the same playing field, and gyms were a constant turf war that was always changing. But once the game had been out for a while, every gym became occupied by the same handful of obsessive players who’d managed to get high-level Dragonites/etc. and were impossible for most ordinary players to dislodge.
In other words, intentionally or not, the game pretty much came screeching to a halt once you’d been playing for about a month, with the only way of potentially making any more progress entailing spending a ton of cash on incubators and Lucky Eggs. And rather than introducing new content to rekindle interest, Niantic just sort of figured, “hey, sponsorship deals with Starbucks and Sprint will do the job, right?” Their complete lack of communication during its buggy period didn’t help.