Geolocation augmented reality game Pokemon Go has achieved $5 billion USD in revenue, just in time for its 5th anniversary.
Sensor Tower reports the game made an average $1 billion USD on average every year. The app made $278 million in revenue in H1 207, rising by around 20% every year. H1 2021 saw a 34% rise; to $642 million USD, with approximately half its lifetime total revenue in 2020.
These figures do not take into consideration third-party Android stores in China or other regions. Even so, the United States is the nation that has generated the most revenue for the game; with $1.9 billion USD (or 36.6%). This is followed by Japan with 32%, and an alarming drop to Germany with just 5.4%.
The game has had 632 million downloads. If each download was a player, this would mean players spent an average just shy of $8 USD across five years. The US has the largest install base 115.5 million downloads, followed by Brazil, and India.
Google Play contributed 52.8% of revenue from all players ($2.7 billion USD), with the App Store at 47.2% ($2.4 billion USD). While revenue is almost equal Google has 77% of the downloads (an estimated 487 million), while the App Store has 23% (144.8 million downloads).
While the game may have been beaten out in top spots in recent months by Genshin Imact and Uma Musume Pretty Derby; Pokemon Go caused borderline hysteria when it first launched, and has continued with steady support by fans and the introduction of new Pokemon. The game even introduced its own brand new Pokemon; Meltan and Melmetal [1, 2, 3].
Even a global pandemic could not slow the geolocation AR game’s success. In March 2020 Niantic incorporated new features to ensure players could still play the game at home. This included counting steps taken at home, social features to keep in touch with other players, virtually visiting real life locations, and formerly live events being available online.
In November 2020 Niantic announced they would continue with global temporary bonuses to at least June 2021, with a warning one month prior to it concluding. There are currently a new set of bonuses until the end of July to ease players back into the normal routine. You can find the full details of what will stay and what will be cut here.
Even so, the game’s popularity in lockdown may have caused the odd issue. UK Essex Police faced backlash over their handling of Pokemon Go players breaking COVID-19 lockdown; with them making note of the offenders being men over 30 years old.
The $5 billion in revenue is rather appropriate; given the game is celebrating its 5th anniversary. Pokemon Go is celebrating with players being able to catch starter Pokemon, Darumaka (who can be shiny), and a flying Pikachu held up by balloons.
In addition, players can encounter shiny Meltan, should they activate their Mystery Box; earned by transferring a Pokemon to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, or Pokemom Home. There will also be a collection challenge, Jump-Start Special Research for even more missions, and the Spotlight Hours for various bonuses from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
Niantic Labs also announced they would be making a Pikmin based AR app for mobile devices. It was later revealed players will help their Pikmin grow, flower, and even dress-up by walking and visiting landmarks; the same Pokestops created by Niantic and Pokemon Go players.
In March of this year, the Pokemon franchise achieved $100 billion USD in lifetime sales; surpassing Star Wars and Marvel.