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Pokémon Go has its most successful year yet in 2019

Pokémon Go continues to print money three years after it became a phenomenon.

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The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go continues to print money three years after it became a phenomenon.

Remember how it seemed like everyone was playing Pokémon Go when it first came out? In the summer of 2016, you couldn’t walk down the sidewalk without seeing a group of people peering at pocket monsters on their phones. Constant news stories highlighted the breathless weirdness of a global gaming phenomenon that required players venture into the real world. The game was so successful it buoyed that year’s unrelated 3DS releases to fastest-ever sales.

Well, somehow, Pokémon Go made even more money in 2019. According to mobile market tracker Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go raked in nearly $900 million in 2019 alone.

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Pokemon Go performance 2019

After launching to $832 million in 2016, user spending declined to $589 million the following year –  a year that also saw the public failure of the first Pokémon Go Fest, the game’s massive community event in Chicago. Since then, the game’s fortunes have steadily risen. It raked in $816 million in 2018 and $894 million last year.

Most of that cash ($482 million) came in on Google Play, with a slightly smaller share ($412 million) being spent in the App Store.

“To date,” says Sensor Tower, “Niantic’s hit has racked up more than $3.1 billion in lifetime player spending.”


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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.