According to game industry analysts SuperData, augmented reality game Pokémon Go has once again hit the top of the mobile charts in August, resulting in its biggest month since the height of its hype back in 2016, generating $176 million.
“Pokémon Go rises to the top spot on mobile,” Superdata said. “Pokémon Go generated $176 million in August, marking its highest point since peaking in 2016. Outperformance was partly driven by a flurry of in-game events as Niantic capitalized on what is typically the game’s strongest month.”
The report also showed that whilst Fortnite remained as the highest-grossing title for the month across consoles – and Dungeon Fighter Online kept League of Legends off the top spot – the launch of World of Warcraft Classic has seen the fan-favourite MMORPG boost its subscription revenue by 223 per cent when compared with July 2019. However, despite this, “total revenue was still lower than the Battle for Azeroth expansion last August”.
Interestingly, the analysis also noted NBA 2K19’s “in-game spending growth slow[ed] ahead of upcoming launch [of NBA 2K20]” and while the report estimates the franchise’s in-game spending grew 39 per cent year-over-year, it is “a comparatively weak showing compared to the first seven months of 2019 where sales grew at an average rate of 91 per cent […] however, we note that August tends to be a seasonally low point for the franchise”.
In other Niantic news, the company recently launched a new gameplay system, Adventure Sync, that enables players to count their steps in-game without needing to keep the app open. Unsurprisingly, Niantic’s first implementation of the system was for Pokémon Go, helping players hatch eggs and earn candy without draining their phone batteries.
“This key feature unlocks a wide variety of gameplay opportunities on the Niantic Real World Platform, serving as an efficient and phone-friendly high-engagement tool that inspires players to head out into their local communities,” said Niantic CEO John Hanke at the time. “We’re looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to implement it in our other games in the future.”
The company teamed up with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at the end of last year to enhance global tourism and develop “innovative tourism experiences through real-world games”. Described as “the leaders in mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences”, Niantic has been tasked with curating “unique campaigns to foster exploration and build awareness of destinations around the world”.