Pokemon Go took the world by storm when it released in July of 2016. It very much felt like a fad at the time, though. While it hasn’t kept up with its own peak popularity, it has continued to be widely popular for more than two years since its release. Frequent content updates and timed events have kept players coming back for more and more. It has even led to the release of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, two Nintendo Switch games that heavily draw on the gameplay from Pokemon Go. It’s been a proven success in the FTP (free-to-play) gaming industry, and like almost any other successful endeavor, copycats come along.
Jurassic World Alive released in Spring of 2018, just months before the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It was a clear copy of Pokemon Go, but it had wildly different intentions. Jurassic World Alive was an attempt at a transmedia extension of the Jurassic Park/World franchise, with an overall goal of driving people to the box office for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and pulling people from the box office to their mobile devices. The game never took off like Pokemon Go did, though. The movie also didn’t perform as well as its predecessor, Jurassic World (2015). So why did this app not “work” that well?
The main problem is the lack of effort. The game is a worse version of Pokemon Go, and the only reason to play it is to experience a version of that game with dinosaurs. There isn’t much of a draw. It may have been the new, fresh thing for a short time, but it can only ride the coattails of a better game for so long. I also believe that consumers have reached the point where they can see through these cheap licensing deals. The game relied too much on brand recognition alone, but if someone playing the game realizes that they can have a very similar experience with more people, more content, and more polish, why would they stick with Jurassic World Alive?