Pokémon has been around for quite a while, the newer version of the game, (Pokèmon GO) has helped generations of Pokémon lovers connect with one another. It has just passed the 5th year since the augmented reality version of the game was released. Unsurprisingly, the title is making more money than ever. Despite the current circumstances.
Pokémon has had a huge cultural impact with its games, collectables, TV series and films. In 2016 when a game launched allowing you to catch your own Pokémon and train them at gyms in the real world, millions were captivated. The augmented reality game Pokémon GO was a huge hit. Thousands could be seen walking around cities trying to catch their favourite Pokémon.
Despite the initial success of the game, it would appear that the magnetic lure module began to wear off. While there may not be mass gatherings of people out searching for Pokémon anymore, due to some players moving on as well as the government’s lockdown measures. The title is actually making more money than ever.
Pokémon GO has seen both good and bad since its initial release. The app generated $207 million (USD) for the San-Francisco based developer Niantic in its first month, but this profitability wasn’t meant to last. The player base fell sharply across the first year of release, and after drawing in over 250 million people per month at launch, the game was being played by less than 50 million people by December.
Along with a decline in players, there was a slump in profits. Nonetheless, in 2020 the profitability of the game changed and on the back of this, it seems Pokémon GO is here to stay.
According to Business of Apps, Pokémon GO made $1.23 billion in 2020. This is significantly more than when it had a huge swell of players in its launch year resulting in $0.83 billion of revenue.
After a dip in 2017, the player base has also climbed back to 160 million. However, many will still be surprised that the game is making more money than ever before, particularly during a pandemic.
The game adjusted its strategy during the pandemic. Instead of encouraging people to walk around, Pokémon GO offered players incense effectiveness boosts while sitting around, gyms were accessible from further away and the game also dropped more gifts. This seemingly kept fans engaged when they were stuck indoors.
The game released a blog post, explaining it will once again encourage people to go outdoors in 2021. Noting possible adaptations is surely done to keep players engaged as some kind of normality resumes.
Pokémon GO has had multiple changes during its 5 years, alterations made to the gameplay in order to keep people interested. By doing this, the free to play game has managed to commodify parts of its gameplay. In turn, making it successfully become more profitable.
It is clear that after a wild dip in the games popularity, Pokémon GO adapted prosperously. 2020 was the year for this beloved app. We wonder if they can continue the success after lockdown restrictions lift and players are told to return to the wild this year.