Pokemon GO has been a seriously big earner for developer Niantic and it even became the fastest app ever to reach $1 billion in revenue. But has the hugely popular mobile game been able to maintain that financial success, even as it experienced a rocky second year?
According to an end of year report published by industry analysis firm SuperData Research, Pokemon GO had an incredibly successful 2017. Pokemon GO “continues to find overwhelming success despite drop-off from the initial hype,” says SuperData. The firm estimates that the game made $890 million during the year, putting it in ninth place in a list of the top 10 mobile games in 2017 based on revenue.
Other games to make the top 10 list include Tencent’s MOBA Arena of Valor, which made $1.9 billion and was the highest earning mobile title in 2017. Supercell’s Clash of Clans took fifth place with $1.2 billion in revenue for the year and that game’s spin-off, the card-based battler Clash Royale, took fourth place, also making $1.2 billion during the year. Another familiar game on the list is Candy Crush Saga, the confectionery-themed puzzle game that made $910 million in 2017.
Hardcore Pokemon GO players and lapsed fans alike may be surprised by this data. 2017 was not the easiest year for the game, most notably when the release of legendary Pokemon was mired in controversy at Pokemon GO Fest. Originally, the event was meant to bring Pokemon GO fans from all over the world together and celebrate the game, but poor connections led to a bungled rollout of the first legendary and it left many fans feeling disheartened and disappointed.
Likewise, even some of the most famous players in the Pokemon GO community have left because of ongoing frustrations with EX Raid battles. Players continue to complain that Niantic is not being transparent enough with the feature and that it is too hard to get invites to the EX Raid battles and therefore they have been left out. This, along with ongoing concerns about bug fixes and cheating, led some players to turn away from a game that they once loved.
However, Niantic did do its part to win people over again. Not only did Pokemon GO introduce Gen 3 Pokemon but it also added a dynamic weather system in order to shake up the gameplay that players had gotten used to. According to the revenue figures, Niantic’s efforts seem to have paid off and 2018 will see the developer try to build on that and attempt to address more concerns held by the community.
Pokemon GO is available on Android and iOS devices.