Niantic's location-based AR game Pokemon Go is still lighting up the charts, years after release. Estimates from SensorTower show that the free-to-play mobile game brought in $894 million in microtransaction spending in 2019, which marks its best year ever since it released in 2016. The game grossed $832 million during launch year, followed by $589 million in 2017 and $816 million in 2018.
In total, Pokemon Go has raked in $3.1 billion since 2016, which is a tremendous result. The game makes money through its in-game store, where players can buy PokeCoins to spend on eggs, lure modules, and upgraded bags, among other things.
SensorTower said Pokemon Go's growth over the years is thanks, in part, to Niantic's commitment to growing and evolving the game with new events both in the game and in the real world. The launch of Team Rocket in July 2019 led to huge increases in spending, SensorTower reported.
Pokemon Go's biggest market in 2019 was the US, which accounted for $335 million or 38 percent of total spending. Japan ($286 million; 32 percent) and Germany ($54 million; 6 percent) followed as the second- and third-largest contributors to revenue.
Android was bigger than iOS, with Google Play store spending hitting $482 million in 2019 compared to $412 million for the App Store. Across iOS and Android, the average player spending per download for Pokemon Go is $5.70.
Looking at the wider mobile game market, Pokemon Go finished 2019 as the No. 5 top-grossing game. The top performer of 2019 was Tencent's Honor of Kings ($1.5 billion).
Pokemon Go's first Community Day of 2020 is set for Sunday, January 19, and now we know what Pokemon you'll be able to catch during the event. Niantic has announced that Piplup, the Water-type penguin from Diamond and Pearl, will be the featured Pokemon for January's Community Day.
In other Pokemon news, the newest Pokemon Nintendo Direct took place this week. In it, the developers announced new DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield.