Like many free mobile games, Pokemon Go offers in-app purchases: for a small fee, you can buy Pokecoins and exchange them for extra Pokeballs, storage, and items to attract nearby critters like Incense and Lure Modules.
Depending on how many Pokestops are in your area, these in-app purchases can be the only way to quickly stock up on items — especially dem balls, as Pokemon Go recently made it harder to catch its many colorful monsters. Even if you’re in a densely populated city with Pokestops and gyms coming out your ears, though, you might decide it’s worth the cash to buy extra egg incubators or backpack space, for example.
Well, all of those little purchases seem to be adding up, as app marketing site Sensor Tower reports that the game has brought in more than $160,000,000 so far. That’s global revenue, and you can see from Sensor Tower’s graph that there was a marked uptick after Niantic’s big European roll-out in late July:
As a reminder, “revenue” isn’t the same as “profit” — profit is what’s left after you pay for all your operational costs, which for Niantic includes employee salaries, servers, office space rental, marketing, etc. Still, $160 million is a hefty figure, and no doubt good news for Niantic and its investors (including Nintendo).
Bad Reviews Aren’t Stopping People From Playing
Pokemon Go has been roundly criticized for some of its recent changes, like the removal of its “footprints” system indicating which Pokemon are nearby. This has caused its app rating to plummet — but people are still playing in huge numbers, says Sensor Tower, and on average are spending more phone time in the game than they’re even spending on Facebook.
As for those changes which have angered players, Niantic has started to respond to backlash, saying it intends to revisit the footprints system and also restore the “Battery Saver” mode which was recently stripped out of the iOS version. Together with its recent launch in Brazil, you can bet revenues for Pokemon Go will stay high for a while.