You folks remember 2016 when Pokemon Go absolutely blew up, right? Made a ton of money, spawned lawsuits and deaths left and right, started a whole legal discussion about the impacts of augmented reality on the real world? Niantic made a ton of money that year, but it fell off a bit the year after and a lot of folks wrote it off as – well, not failing at all, but maybe just falling into a more realistic earnings cadence.
But as Sensor Tower notes, that trend has reversed in a very big way. According to its data, not only did POGO resurge in 2018 to come close to its 2016 levels, in 2019, but it actually surpassed them by 10%, besting 2016 $832M with $894M last year.
“Much of the game’s growth since 2017 can be attributed to significant updates and both in-game and real-world events. Last year saw the introduction of franchise antagonists Team Rocket at the end of July, sparking its fourth and fifth best months ever, generating $116 million in August and $126 million in September. Its top three months for user spending came in 2016 when hype for the game was at its highest and it generated $256 million in July, $195 million in August, and $141 million in September of that year. Pokémon GO caught most of its 2019 revenue in the United States, where it picked up $335 million, or 38 percent of all user spending. Japan ranked No. 2 for revenue with $286 million, or 32 percent of the total, and Germany was No. 3 with $54 million, or 6 percent. […] While many top mobile games gross more on iOS, Pokémon GO has historically generated the majority of its revenue on Android. To date, Niantic’s hit has racked up more than $3.1 billion in lifetime player spending.”
It won’t come as a major surprise to anyone who’s been watching the continuing potency of the Pokemon franchise across multiple media nor to anyone who’s kept an eye on the game’s persistent presence in SuperData’s top 10 revenue charts, but still, it’s good news for MMOARGs.
And Niantic’s Harry Potter Wizards Unite? That earned just $23M in 2019 when it launched.