Niantic’s Pokemon GO has had an exceptional year, with Sensor Tower estimating that it has already generated over $1 billion in player spending this year.
The game has remained popular since its launch to huge success back in July 2016, and its yearly spending has remained strong. While spending dropped 29 per cent in 2017, but has risen every year since, and 2020 is already the game’s best year yet.
Players worldwide have spent up to 11 per cent more so far this year than in all of last year, and 30 per cent more than in the first 10 months of 2019.
Of course, downloads and revenue in the mobile games space is up across the board due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sensor Tower notes that is is particularly impressive that Pokemon GO has seen such success.
The game is a location-tracking app, and until recently had walking outdoors as one of its core gameplay features. However, since the pandemic Niantic have introduced a number of stay at home features, such as introducing remote raid passes, in order to enable players to continue playing during lockdown.
Sensor Tower also notes that Pokemon GO has been used for socially distanced exercise, and a reason to venture outside safely during the pandemic.
Pokemon GO is currently the no. 3 mobile game by player spending so far this year, losing out to Tencent’s PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings – who are first and second, respectively.
Since its 2016 launch, Pokémon GO has accumulated close to $4.2 billion in player spending globally. The lion’s share of that has come from Google Play, generating more than $2.2 billion, or 53.4 per cent of the total. The App Store, meanwhile, accounts for $1.9 billion, or 46.6 per cent.