The free-to-play Pokémon Masters had a strong start, but its producer admits that the mobile game is lacking content, leaving players with nothing much to do just a month after release.
Pokémon Masters, the latest mobile game in the franchise by The Pokémon Company and DeNA, earned about $26 million in its first week, according to estimates by Sensor Tower. It was different from other Pokémon games because instead of the core mechanic of catching and evolving Pokémon, players built teams made up of famous trainers in the series to work their way through challenges.
While Pokémon Masters was second only to Pokémon Go in terms of revenue over its first week, the initial hype quickly died down. There were events that featured new trainers, but the main story was too short, leaving players only with options of either grinding through side missions or participating in online co-op battles that had unattractive rewards. Players also complained about balancing issues, as some trainers were so powerful that they overshadowed the others.
Pokémon Masters producer Yu Sasaki, in a message uploaded to the game’s official website, acknowledged the lack of content, alongside the overall battle difficulty and design, as the two most common concerns among players.
“We’re disappointed we did not meet the expectations of our community, and for this, we sincerely apologize,” Yu wrote in the statement. The producer, however, added that with a bigger team, including the hiring of Tetsuya Iguchi as operations producer, the developer is now better equipped to address player concerns.
The developer is now focused on improving the game’s lack of content, lack of appealing rewards, difficulty and design, and poor usability. Yu said that changes to address the lack of appealing rewards are coming “in the near future,” while players will be updated on any progress in the other areas of concern. Short-term plans for Pokémon Masters include more story events, in addition to the revised reward system.
More specific details on the planned improvements for Pokémon Masters should be released soon, and hopefully, they will be enough to maintain player interest in a mobile game that started out so well.