Data & Research

Reports of Pokemon GO’s death are greatly exaggerated

Reports of Pokemon GO’s death are greatly exaggerated

This article uses insights obtained through Reflection's mobile games market data. You can check out the tool on the Reflection website.

When Pokemon GO launched in July 2016, it became an instant hit across the world. So much so, in fact, that Niantic struggled to cope with the sheer number of players as servers buckled under pressure.

A hit was expected, but what happened was an unprecedented scale not seen on mobile before.

As Niantic has previously admitted, it was unprepared for the number of players – over 500 million downloads in two months – though any early hiccups have since been overcome.

It’s claimed that Pokemon GO has joined a very exclusive club – with over $1 billion in revenue in under a year. Much of that generated quickly in those first few months.

It was a hugely impressive feat.

Revives not required

But how is Niantic’s blockbuster performing 11 months on?

At its height, the title was said to be making as much as $16 million a day. But when the entire world slowly stopped playing and it left the general public's minds, leaving a mere tens of millions+ engaged, the headlines of the game’s “failure” began to roll in.

It’s not too difficult to find articles across the internet about what Pokemon GO has done wrong, how it could have made more money.

Indeed, at launch, it was certainly missing the usual staples of modern, successful mobile games, such as in-game events and even push notifications.

But reports of Pokemon GO's death have been greatly exaggerated.

According to data from mobile apps market insights firm Reflection, as recently as February the game topped the grossing charts on the US App Store.

Throughout March, it was a top 10 grosser nearly every single day, rising as high as second spot on March 23rd in the overall top grossing rankings.

Pokemon GO US App Store rankings from November 2016 to March 2017

It’s a similar story in the UK, where Pokemon GO has performed even better, rarely slipping outside the top 10 top grossing charts.

And the pattern repeats across the world, including countries like Germany and Canada.

Even in territories where it appears less popular, Pokemon GO typically spends a lot time in the top 20 grossing charts.

Niantic deserves a lot of credit for how it’s been able to get the game rising back up the charts after each in-game event.

It seems people aren’t growing tired of spending their time and money to catch ‘em all.

A critical hit

Niantic deserves a lot of credit for how it’s been able to get the game rising back up the charts after each in-game event. Though the game is never struggling to bring in money, as events always bring a surge in expenditure.

Looking back to December, the introduction of just a select few new pokemon – all of which could only be hatched through egg incubators – instantly saw the game surge up the charts.

On December 11th 2016, Pokemon GO was ranked 11th in the US App Store top grossing charts. After the new pokemon were released into the wild on December 12th, it shot up to third in the charts, and then topped in on December 13th.

Similarly, downloads, which had slowed, rose significantly in the preceding days before the update.

And then just around the corner, Niantic launched a Christmas event on December 25th. It introduced a few simple elements to entice users to get playing, including the chance to get egg incubators to help hatch pokemon, a greater chance of finding new eggs for the new pokemon, and a special Christmas pikachu.

During this period, Pokemon GO spent the entire time in the top five, mostly in the top two grossing rankings.

It was a similar story once again after February 16th, when Niantic unleashed 80 new pokemon into the wild. Going from 21st on the US App Store top grossing charts, the title rose to first spot on February 19th, and stayed in the top 10 almost every day throughout the rest of February and March.

It’s a testament to the power of the Pokemon brand, and how Niantic is able to entice its userbase of hundreds of millions of players back through updates and events.

Recent reports also suggest Niantic has found another lucrative revenue stream in sponsored locations.

So Pokemon GO has become a failure? On the contrary, it continues to be a roaring success.

This article uses insights obtained through Reflection's mobile games market data. You can check out the tool on the Reflection website.

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you+AR @ #AWE2017
This is a side by side of our tech from last year with ARKit. We think it's pretty cool!
https://youtu.be/OgWYjWS7WrE
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