Pokemon GO bounces back to score its highest revenue in several months, after a compelling holiday event prompts scores of players to return to the game.
Pokemon GO was undoubtedly one of the biggest video game releases of 2016 — but its all-encompassing popularity had all but dried up by the time that summer came to an end. However, new sales data suggests that the mobile hit saw something of a resurgence as the year came to a close.
December 31, 2016 saw Pokemon GO record its biggest day of gross revenue since July 18, according to a report from VG247. Around $4.9 million is thought to have been spent on in-app purposes over the course of a 24-hour period.
As a result, the week of December 26 was the game’s highest grossing since the month of July. However, this wasn’t solely down to its standout performance on New Year’s Eve — players spent $22.1 million over seven days, which suggests that trainers were returning to the app in droves.
It certainly seems that the holiday event that played out over Christmas and into the new year had its desired effect on the Pokemon GO player base. With spending up, it seems likely that Niantic Inc. will continue to organize similar limited-time events over the course of 2017.
The first event of this kind to play out in Pokemon GO was the Halloween promotion that got underway in late October last year. The holiday event was about on par with its spooky predecessor in terms of revenue, as both managed to clear $20 million over the course of a week.
However, it may be telling that the holiday event’s added appeal of brand new Pokemon from the Johto region didn’t result in a marked increase in revenue over the Halloween event. It seems that the Pokemon GO audience may simply have more nostalgia for the Kanto Pokedex than any subsequent generation.
Pokemon GO will undoubtedly be looked back on as an important case study for surprise mobile gaming success stories. The app was huge for several weeks — but a lack of new content, and some unwelcome changes to game mechanics prompted its enormous popularity to be shortlived.
That being said, the success of the game’s holiday event should be an encouraging signal going forward. If Niantic can continue to deliver engaging events in the coming months, Pokemon GO could still be very profitable, even if it never reaches the highs of its first few weeks on the market.
Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS devices.