2019 was Pokémon Go’s most successful year to date

If you thought Pokémon Go’s best days were behind it, think again. According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, Niantic’s fan-favourite augmented-reality game has just had its biggest year to date, generating an estimated $894 million (£688m) in gross player spending last year, making 2019 the company’s most successful year to date.

In comparison, when it launched in 2016 the game grossed $832m (£640m). Overall, Pokémon Go generated a staggering $3.1 billion (£2.3bn) in lifetime gross revenue.

According to the analysis, two of its best months ever for revenue came in August and September 2019 following the introduction of Team Rocket, and most of its revenue is generated within the United States, where it picked up $335 million (£257m), or 38 per cent of all user spending. Japan fans were runner-up for revenue with $286 million (£220m), or 32 per cent of the user spending share.

Credit: Sensor Tower

“To date, Pokémon GO is the only location-based game that has been able to increase its revenue from its launch year,” the report said. “Such success can be put down to astute live operations and in-game events that have kept players consistently coming back for more. It remains to be seen in 2020 if Niantic can build once more on 2019’s record year, and whether other new location-based titles released this year can also experience growth.”

A recent report into the mobile gaming market, also by Sensor Tower, discovered 82 per cent of the 29.6 billion new app downloads in Q3 2019 new installs are generated by just 1 per cent of app publishers. This means 99 per cent of games publishers share just 20 per cent of the market, with 6 billion downloads combined.

The report also determined the top 1 per cent of games generated 93 per cent of all spending, and 95% of mobile game revenue.

“There were more than 3.4 million apps available globally across the App Store and Google Play in 2018, an increase of 65 per cent from the 2.2 million apps available in 2014,” the report said. “However, the percentage of apps that have been downloaded at least 1,000 times has decreased over the same period, from 30 per cent in 2014 to 26 per cent in 2018. In other words, in a continually growing market where most publishers are competing against the publishers controlling 80 per cent of all new user acquisition, standing out among the competition is more crucial than ever.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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