No matter what you think about Pokemon Go and mobile MMOARGs in general, you gotta give Niantic some credit for managing to pivot a “go outside” game hard in the middle of a pandemic with actual lockdowns keeping people inside. Niantic’s quick shift to incentivize more sedentary and solo behavior, as our own Massively on the Go column has noted, has been richly rewarded over 2020, culminating with last weekend’s Pokemon Go Fest: Niantic pulled in $17.5M just over the course of the two-day weekend event – an entirely virtual one, mind you.
“All told, millions of people took part in the ticketed Pokemon Go Fest experience this year from 124 different countries and regions, making this the first-ever truly global Pokemon Go Fest,” Niantic said in its blog post. Players caught nearly 1B Pokemon and walked 15km each on average. And nobody even got sued!
According to GIbiz, Saturday’s $8.9M revenue actually represents the game’s largest one-day revenues since 2016.
But lest you think that Niantic will be resting on its laurels or swimming in those pools of money, the company actually announced it would be increasing its pledge for Black Lives Matter, which was already significant.
“At the beginning of June, we announced a pledge of a minimum of $5 million to fund nonprofit organizations in the U.S. that are helping local communities rebuild, in addition to funding new projects from Black gaming and AR creators that can live on the Niantic platform, with the ultimate goal of increasing content that represents a more diverse view on the world. We’re so happy to share that based on the total amount of tickets sold, we’re increasing that pledge to more than $10 million.”