Can lost players be wooed back?
After years of surging popularity and impressive revenue growth, Pokémon GO continues losing momentum. Last year brought a considerable revenue and downloads drop for Niantic’s location-based megahit, and the negative trend continued in 2023.
According to data presented by CasinosEnLigne.com, Pokémon GO grossed $318.5 million in eight months of 2023 or only 50% of last year’s revenue.
Over the past seven years, Pokémon GO witnessed an influx of new players who spent an impressive amount of money on in-app purchases. Within a week of its release in 2016, the mobile game had been downloaded over ten million times worldwide, showing the enormous hype about the launch of Nintendo’s first venture into mobile gaming. That year alone, Pokémon Go hit $550.4 million in revenue, according to Statista and AppMagic data.
After causing controversy for contributing to accidents, annual revenues dropped by 19.2% to $444.7 million a year later. However, player spending continued surging in the following years and hit an all-time high in 2020.
The Statista and App Magic data show 2020 remains the record year by annual revenue, with Pokémon Go players spending $909.1 million on Pokéballs and other in-game items. In 2021, Pokémon reported $877.6 million in revenue from its gaming app, showing a 3% YoY decrease.
But 2022 brought the biggest annual revenue drop in the game’s history, with in-app purchases falling by almost 20% year-over-year to $703.7 million. This caused Pokémon GO to drop to seventh place of the highest-grossing mobile games globally, down from sixth in 2021.
However, 2023 might bring the biggest drop on the global mobile games chart. With $318.5 million in eight-month revenue, Pokémon Go currently ranks as the tenth top-grossing mobile game out there, behind Royal Match, Gardenscapes and Honkai: Star Rail.
Despite its in-app purchase and revenue falling, Pokémon GO still hit impressive lifetime downloads. Since its release in 2016, the game has been downloaded nearly 625 million times worldwide, and around 40% of this figure came from its first year.
In 2020 only, when millions of people turned to mobile games amid the COVID-19 lockdown, game was downloaded close to 60 million times, 3 million more than in 2019. But it’s been downhill since then, with 2022 marking the lowest annual downloads.
Last year, the game was downloaded 43 million times worldwide, or 18% less than in 2021, which saw 52.5 million downloads. Statistics show 2023 might see similar figures, as the game hit only 21.1 million downloads in the first six months.