Pokémon Go generated an estimated $950 million in revenues in 2016, according to a report by market researcher App Annie.
Niantic Labs launched Pokémon Go on July 6, 2016, and it became a smash hit. Within a couple of months, Niantic announced that it had been downloaded more than 500 million times.
The game got people off the couch and prompted them to walk around outside in search of Pokémon creatures. It flooded parks and other landmarks with players, and some of them made in-app purchases of items such as Pokémon balls so that they could keep on playing.
In a fireside chat the Kids@Play Summit at CES 2017, Niantic’s Archit Bhargava, global lead for marketing, told me that players had collectively walked 8.7 billion kilometers playing the game. (I have walked 100 kilometers myself).
App Annie previously reported that Pokémon Go hit $600 million faster than any other game, in a little less than 90 days. Pokémon Go hit the threshold in 90 days. By comparison, it took Candy Crush Saga more than 200 days to hit $600 million. Puzzle & Dragons took more than 400 days, and Clash of Clans took more than 500 days.
“By attracting millions of non-gamers, it reached a level of success that eludes even some of the most successful traditional video games,” App Annie said in its newest report on 2016 revenues. “This was thanks to the game’s beloved intellectual property, simple mechanics, real-world augmented reality gameplay, and perhaps most of all, its social nature.”
Contrary to publishers’ concerns, App Annie said that it did not appear to eat into other games’ revenue or usage. Since the game attracted more than just traditional mobile gamers and was often played during users’ traditionally “non-mobile” time, the game did not seem to prosper at the expense of other games, App Annie said.
Revenue hit $800 million in consumer spend in 110 days, and it hit $950 million by the end of 2016. Pokemon Go was No. 1 in downloads on iOS and Google Play in 2016, and it was No. 3 in revenue, behind No. 1 Monster Strike and No. 2 Clash Royale.
“This was far faster than some of the most successful mobile games of all time. To put Pokémon Go’s success in a broader perspective, its global consumer spend in 2016 exceeded the total worldwide box office gross of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice,” App Annie said.