The base, revenue, and engagement. Or lack thereof.
For as long as I've been playing this game, it feels like Niantic are not really paying attention. Not really listening. Sure, we get answers to a lot of questions, but how often is it that either our suggestions seemingly wind up in a file cabinet, or that when something is done, it's just not effective or sustainable.
Here's the deal: this game is stagnating, at best. Lore isn't driving new players, media isn't either. There's no significant income, apparently, and there's no telling how many of us have made valid suggestions as to what we'd happily pay for. We get it, the game isn't the cash cow. It's not the profit center. Maybe it wasn't meant to be, but it can't just operate at a loss forever. But without advertising, without engagement, without something besides "hey players, go bring us more players" this is going nowhere fast. Lots of hints about that marketable ideas are in the pipe, but meanwhile we have literally been clamoring for YEARS for merch, swag, items, and even virtual goods. We're not asking for game-breakers or all-out pay-to-win. And let's face it, anything you sell is going to tick someone off, so let's not even sweat that point right now. Without any indication of what we can expect to throw money at, while constantly hearing "we can't give you what you want if we aren't making any money" it becomes increasingly frustrating. Lots of ideas are on the table. We keep repeating, and while not every idea is valid or realistic, surely something can be gleaned from it all. We're not asking for solid yes/no every time, but some breadcrumbs, some manner of "hey, here's a few things we like that you suggested , got any input" would be great.
Niantic, you want to make a game that will be enjoyed and sustain itself through various revenue sources. you're a business, you're in it to make money. We're here because you offered a fun way to explore and learn while engaging and meeting new people, making life a grand adventure. You want to make money, we want to have fun, and we can make it all happen, but there's got to be a way to bridge that gap without all the secrets, barking in the dark, and hoping something changes. Help us help you. Give us something besides "we're trying things" "we're working on it" or "we need to make money before X can happen". Does the dynamic, the meta, need to change? Perhaps. Probably. But we need to work TOGETHER.