Pokémon GO is mobile gaming's most popular game to date, and 2019 was its best year yet for revenue.
The AR-realized version of the hit video game franchise that started on the Nintendo Game Boy hasn't disappeared. Even if it has seemingly taken back seat in the mainstream news to other large franchises, such as Call of Duty Mobile.
For the players, though, and for the companies that made the game, Pokémon GO is still very relevant. And it seems it'll continue to be going forward, with no signs of slowing down. For now at least.
Pokémon GO revenue almost hit $900 Million in player spending
According to recent data from SensorTower, Niantic's mega hit AR game totaled almost $900 million in 2019.
Data shows that players spent $894 million on in-game micro transactions this past year. Pokémon GO's closest year of revenue was the year of the game's launch. Way back in 2016.
After it released, the game made $832 million, which is $62 million less than 2019's numbers. The huge amount of revenue from its launch year could probably be attributed to the massive anticipation from players.
But in years since the game hasn't done as well. In 2017 Niantic actually made significantly less money from it. Players spent about 29-percent less, totaling $589 million. Then in 2018 the revenue shot back up, reaching almost as much as 2016 with its $816 million in player spend revenue.
In 2019 the US ranked as the country with the most spending. Where players spent $335 million of the overall amount. Japan ranked number two with $286 million.
Quality of life improvements & feature content updates are likely the reason
While it didn't take long for Pokémon GO to climb the ladder when it comes to popular mobile games, its second year shows that many players probably lost interest after a little while.
At least enough to not spend as much money on in-game items. Perhaps due to less play time. However, from 2018 onward Niantic and the Pokémon Company have been making some big improvements to the game.
Continued feature content updates, some of which were features players had been requesting for a long time, finally made their arrival. This in turn seems to have led to a surge in player engagement and thus more money spent on in-game content.
The second half of last year saw the addition of new Team GO Rocket content. Going forward, Pokémon GO is set to receive a content update in 2020 which includes ranked PvP play.
This sort of content will almost certainly drive up player engagement. Which could lead to another successful year for the game when it comes to how much money it makes.