The Latest: FarmVille creator says “Pokemon Go” may be fad


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the “Pokemon Go” smartphone game craze (all times EDT):

2:15 p.m.

The creator of former Facebook game hit FarmVille says game du jour Pokemon Go may have limited appeal over the long run.

The game, which uses newfangled augmented reality, got a big lift because of old-fashioned word of mouth, says Amitt Mahajan, now a partner of VC firm Presence Capital, which invests in virtual reality and augmented reality. People saw others walking around playing on their phones and wanted in. But that doesn’t mean its popularity will last.

He says to really etch itself into the cultural consciousness for years, like Candy Crush and Angry Birds did, a game needs to add new levels or challenges often, and Pokemon may not be able to do that. And he says users could be turned off if they run out of nearby Pokemon to collect.

Still, he says the game will likely retain a smaller group of dedicated players.

Pokemon Go’s developer did not immediately reply to questions.

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1:30 p.m.

A political group in swing-state Ohio is using the game “Pokemon Go” for a purpose beyond catching cute Pikachu: registering voters.

NextGen Climate Ohio, a group drawing attention to climate change, says the rollout is just one of the creative ways it’s trying to engage millennial voters. It comes just days before the two political conventions get under way.

State director Joanne Pickrell is dropping rare “lures,” which draw the cartoon monsters hunted by “Pokemon Go” players, at game locations in parks and on campuses in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. Its representatives will be on site at the locations to talk to players about the importance of voting and how to get registered.

Planned locations include the University of Toledo Friday and, on Saturday, parks in Cleveland and Columbus and at Mirror Lake on the Ohio State University campus.

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11:45 a.m.

Authorities arrested an Indiana sex offender after they say a probation officer spotted him playing “Pokemon Go” with a 16-year-old boy on the county courthouse lawn.

The Greenfield Daily Reporter reports (http://bit.ly/29EPwPo ) that probation officer Nick Layman saw 42-year-old Randy Zuick playing the popular cellphone game with the teen Wednesday. Wayne Addison, the chief probation officer, says a colleague who was with Layman ran into the courthouse to alert a security officer, who took Zuick into custody.

Records show that Zuick pleaded guilty in April to fondling a child under the age of 14 and has been on sex-offender probation, which prohibits the Greenfield man from interacting with children.

A judge will decide whether to revoke his probation.

Greenfield is about 20 miles east of Indianapolis.

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11:30 a.m.

Playing “Pokemon Go” is more popular with U.S. Android users right now than tweeting, binge watching TV on Netflix, or listening to music on Pandora or Spotify.

That’s according to new research from the digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb, which looked at daily active user rates for the popular apps.

On Monday, 5.9 percent of all U.S. Android users played the game. In comparison, 4.1 percent used Twitter’s app on the same day. Pokemon Go has also passed Pandora Radio, Netflix, Google’s Hangouts and Spotify Music in terms of daily active users, the company said.

But the game still trails other popular apps such as Facebook Messenger, (22.1 percent), Instagram (13.1 percent), WhatsApp (10 percent) and Snapchat (8.3 percent).

Pokemon Go’s overall installation rate of 10.8 percent of all U.S. Android phones still trails the rates of Twitter, Netflix, Hangouts, Pandora and Spotify. For example, Twitter and Spotify posted installation rates of 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

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