Pokémon Go was 2016’s rocket ship — it broke download records and it raced to $500 million in revenue quicker than any app in history. Now it won yet another accolade, the fastest game to reach $1 billion.
That’s according to a new report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. To give the record some context, a recent App Annie report estimated that iOS and Android developers earned around $35 billion combined last year. Pokémon Go did $1 billion in just over six months, and without a launch in China, the world largest smartphone market. That’s faster than other billion-dollar games Candy Crush Saga and Puzzles & Dragons.
Sensor Tower drilled the point home via a chart comparing Pokémon Go revenue to that of another top mobile game — Clash Royale from SuperCell. Clash Royale did around $550 million in its first seven months. SuperCell is renowned for producing high grossing and addictive games, yet Pokémon Go leaves it trailing in its wake.
Sensor Tower estimates that Pokémon Go is far less lucrative now than at its peak — it is said to be making $1.5 million to $2.5 million per day, down from record highs of $18 million — but the team behind the app has the nous and loyal fanbase to raise that on occasions.
For example, it can add new characters and run special events. A Halloween-period event was estimated to have doubled the game’s revenue, while there’s potential to increase engagement via the newly launch Apple Watch app, too, and generation two Pokémon Go is still to come.
There are also more markets. The app just went live in South Korea, one of the planet’s most lucrative mobile gaming markets, and Niantic can explore the possibilities of a China launch, where it must contend with issues around government concern and a lack of Google services.
So, while there’s little doubt that the hype around the game has died down, there remains much to be upbeat about.