Pokémon GO had a great holiday season and ended 2016 with a bang, generating the highest gross revenue since its launch.
The augmented reality mobile game made its debut back on July 18, 2016, and became an instant hit. Soon enough, Pokémon GO was a real social phenomenon and millions of users worldwide were hooked into the AR fantasy.
The game eventually started losing steam, but it exploded again during the last week of the year. According to data from Sensor Tower, Dec. 31 was the highest day of gross revenue for Pokémon GO since the game's release.
In-App Purchases Of Nearly $5 Million In A Day
Sensor Tower released a graph detailing the revenue Pokémon GO generated in 2016 and the last day of the year bagged nearly $5 million, consisting of in-app purchases. Overall, the last week of 2016 was the highest-grossing one since launch, scoring roughly $22.1 million. This marks a 26 percent increase compared with the game's performance in the week of Oct. 24, when Niantic released its first live event in-game and prompted in-app purchases of more than $17.6 million.
The impressive performance in the last week of the year was largely due to the exciting holiday events the developer released, offering limited-time bonuses for holiday players. Incentives included free egg incubators, new baby Pokémon that could be hatched from eggs and increased chances of catching starter Pokémon.
On the other hand, players were hoping to see more pocket monsters join the game and a wider Pokédex would've likely boosted the game's popularity and revenue even further.
"The smaller-than-hoped rollout of new monsters was reflected in the (relatively) modest revenue increase," Sensor Tower points out.
Developer Niantic released its own stats in early December, posting a video on YouTube detailing that since the Pokémon GO launch and up until Dec. 7, players walked 8.7 billion kilometers and captured 88 billion Pokémon. Niantic has yet to release additional stats to detail the game's performance for the rest of the month.
Highlighting the strong performance Pokémon GO had in the last week of 2016, Sensor Tower notes that the game was the top grossing app in the United States throughout the whole week, surpassing Supercell's Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.
What About Super Mario Run?
Nintendo's Super Mario Run managed to outperform Pokémon GO at one point, but it has since declined. While Super Mario Run topped $20 million in worldwide gross revenue during its launch weekend and was the most downloaded app in Apple's App Store during the holidays, it has since slipped out of the top 20 grossing apps on the U.S. App Store. On the other hand, Super Mario Run will likely get another chance at the top once it launches on Android.
Comparing Pokémon GO to Super Mario Run is not entirely fair, however, not only because the latter launched only on iOS, but also because it only offers limited content for free. Pokémon GO is free to play all the way, but Super Mario Run requires users to shell out a hefty $9.99 if they want to enjoy the full game experience.