Pokémon Go reminds us that just because a game isn’t dominating the news as it once did doesn’t mean it can’t still pull in more bucks than can fill the Easter Bunny’s basket.
Mobile market research firm Sensor Tower said today that it estimates Pokémon Go brought in $65 million worldwide in April, a 15 percent over what it made in April 2018. It also finds that Niantic’s game ranked No. 7 in overall spending in both app stores (Apple and Google Play). A year ago, it was 10th in the app stores. Sensor Tower pegs the gains in part on Niantic’s third Eggstravaganza event. For the year, the research firm also estimates that spending is up 33% to $270 million in the App Store and Google Play for the first four months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. All of this shows that Pokémon Go remains one of the strongest names in mobile gaming, and continued support and updates are helping its long-lived strength.
The last time Pokémon Go ranked this high was in January. Niantic’s game could also see higher spending this month tied to new stuff from Detective Pikachu, while hits theaters May 10. Tomorrow, Pokémon Go gets an update that offers the following until May 17:
- Detective Pikachu photobomb: Pikachu may photobomb you while taking a Go Snapshot, and you’ll get a chance to catch the little scamp in his detective hat.
- Higher encounter rate: Pokémon from the Detective Pikachu will appear more often, so don’t be surprised if you see more Bulbasaurs, Jigglypuffs, Pysducks, Aipons, and Snubbulls. You may also see a Shiny Aipom.
- Raids and Field Research: Raid Battles will feature Pokémon from the film, and Field Research will also have a nod toward the film.
- New avatar items: You’ll be able to customize your avatars with a detective hat with Pikachu ears, a Detective Pikachu-themed shirt, and more tie-ins from the film.
Sensor Tower also estimates that players in the U.S. and Japan have spent about the same this year, a little bit under $92 million for each market. In April, the Asia market saw $28 million in in-game spending, about 43% of April’s $65 million. North America checked in with $24 million, and European players chipped in $10 million.
This also shows the strength of the brand. Sensor Tower reported that Pokémon mobile games have made $2.5 billion worldwide (excluding Android in China), with 640 million downloads.
Pokémon Go placed right behind Clash of Clans in April, which got a big year-over-year boost from the introduction of a battle pass.