Summer 2016 was the summer of Pokémon Go. Everybody and their dog seemed to be addicted, with news reports bringing us stories on unusual gym locations, people wandering into dangerous spots and even one poor Russian guy sent to jail for being caught playing it in church. But, like all crazes, folks gradually got bored with it and put it down, with the game somewhat disappearing from the media eye. Just because it couldn’t maintain that supernova of popularity though doesn’t seem to have harmed its finances.
That’s because, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence, Pokémon Go has now made an astounding $2.5 billion worldwide. If it were a film, it’d be nosing at Avatar‘s $2.7 billion haul back in 2010. You might expect the bulk of this to have been made during the height of the game’s popularity in 2016, but according to the data, it’s actually becoming more lucrative over time. For example, it made more than $700 million of its total after its second anniversary and Q1 2019 has even outperformed Q1 2018.
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That’s pretty impressive stuff, but what’s driving its popularity? Well, Pokémon Go can link into the Switch Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee games, so that probably drew players back in, while there’s also been a continually expanding set of features and modes for the title. Plus, Niantic has just done a bang-up job of keeping folks engaged, and with Detective Pikachu and Pokémon Sword and Shield due out later this year, the game could enjoy another moment in the sun.
The only thing really standing in its way has a suspiciously lightning-shaped scar on its forehead. Niantic’s next AR title, Harry Potter Wizards Unite is set for release this summer and may well syphon away some players from Pokémon Go. Plus, while the developer will still support the game with new content, it’s inevitable that their top team will be put to work on their new lead project. But even if Pokémon Go never makes a single cent more, it’ll go down in history as one of the biggest successes in mobile gaming (if not gaming as a whole).
Source: Sensor Tower