Mobile app analysis firm SensorTower reveals that popular mobile game Pokemon GO saw a significant boost in revenue during its recent Halloween event.
After skyrocketing to popularity this past summer, interest in Pokemon GO waned significantly. It lost 15 million daily users, and most people moved on to meatier gaming experiences. Considering this, it wasn't clear if the game's recent Halloween event would drum up much excitement, but according to data from app analysis firm SensorTower, Pokemon GO sharply increased its revenue during the event.
In the week prior to the Halloween event, Pokemon GO made about $10 million. That number is impressive, but it's still a far cry from the cash it was making during its peak. While the Halloween event was going on, however, Pokemon GO's revenue increased to $23 million for the period, an increase of 133%. This is significant when one considers that the Halloween event didn't even bring with it any meaningful content updates.
On the contrary, Pokemon GO's Halloween event merely increased the rate at which players encountered "spooky Pokemon." So instead of constantly running into Rattatas and Pidgeys while out hunting Pokemon, players found a lot of Drowzees, Zubats, Cubones, Gastlys, and Pokemon of that nature. It also offered gamers double candy for catching and evolving Pokemon, which seems to have been the main draw for lapsed Pokemon GO players to return.
With double the candy at stake, it made leveling up all the Pokemon in a player's roster much easier. It also made the buddy system more useful, allowing players to make more progress than usual when it comes to grinding for candy with a specific Pokemon at their side.
With the Halloween event for Pokemon GO, Niantic has proven that it can greatly improve the game's revenue just by tweaking the rate at which players are given rewards. In the future, this will translate to Niantic running even more Pokemon GO events, which will likely coincide with holidays and other special occasions. It may also convince Niantic to fast-track some of the game's most wanted features, because if lapsed players returned just for what was basically a double XP event, imagine how many will come back to the game when it gets significant content updates.
While it's unlikely that it will reach the same heights it was at this past summer, expect the number of active Pokemon GO players to spike once Niantic gets around to adding features like Pokemon trading, player-versus-player battling, and of course, second generation Pokemon. Before all that, however, it still needs to finish the Kanto region Pokedex, so hopefully news on legendary Pokemon, Ditto, and a way to capture region-specific Pokemon without having to hop on a plane is shared soon.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.