Niantic Is Rich

Niantic's augmented reality game Pokémon GO has just recorded its best year ever in terms of in-game player spending.

According to Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence estimates, the mobile app generated around $894 million in gross player spending in 2019. Before this, the best period for GO was the year of its launch in 2016, when it banked $832 million.

This growth is linked to ongoing in-game updates. Last year, in particular, saw the introduction of Team Rocket, which gave the game its "fourth and fifth" best months when it made $116 million in August and $126 million the following month. The three most profitable months for the game date back to 2016 (from July through to September).

Worldwide User Spending By Year
Image: Sensor Tower

The United States is where GO caught most of its revenue in 2019, collecting $335 million (38 percent of all user spending) and Japan was second place, spending $286 million (32 percent) on the game. Germany was in third, making up six percent of player spending ($54 million). In terms of downloads, the US was in the top spot with 10 million installs last year, followed by Brazil with five million, and India in third place with three million installs. All up, there were more than 55 million installs in 2019.

Google Play users spent more on the game (about $482 million) and the App Store generated around $412 million. There were also more downloads on Android devices (38 million installs) compared to the App Stores 17 million downloads. More than $3.1 billion has been spent on GO to date and the average revenue per download is $5.70.

Compared to other mobile games, the amount of money Niantic's game made in 2019 makes it the fifth top earner worldwide, right behind Candy Crush Saga. The top-grossing game goes to Honor of Kings by Chinese tech giant Tencent, which generated "close to" $1.5 billion. GO also remains the king of location-based games and the only title within this category that's been able to increase its revenue from its launch year.

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