Pokemon GO has enjoyed a more profitable first three years in existence than both Candy Crush and Clash Royale. First launching in July 2016, Pokemon GO reignited the franchise's mainstream popularity, as trainers of all ages headed outside in the summer sun to catch an endless stream of Pidgey and Rattata. Predictably, the Poke-bubble burst after several months and the craze died down, but Pokemon GO has retained a core base of players over the past three years and remains a highly active app even today, constantly introducing new monsters, gameplay elements and holiday events to keep players coming back.
The casual gaming market is an inherently fickle business and in a near-constant state of flux. Games can be the height of popularity one day and then experience huge drop-offs as the novelty wears off. While this phenomenon has become almost expected when a big new game such as Pokemon GO is successful, the real key to an app's success is keeping a healthy number of players active and tempting back those who may have become dormant with a variety of in-game incentives.
According to data from Store Intelligence (via SensorTower) Pokemon GO's first three years have been more successful than Candy Crush and Clash Royale were during their initial tri-annual period. Taking into consideration both Android and Apple users, Pokemon GO has grossed $2.65 billion worldwide since launching, compared to Clash Royale with $2.3 billion and Candy Crush with $1.86 billion. However, Pokemon GO does trail behind Clash of Clans which made a whopping $3.15 billion during its first three years. In the interest of fairness, sales data from China has been taken out of the equation, as Pokemon GO is not currently available in that territory.
Pokemon GO's record-breaking debut earned the app plenty of plaudits in 2016, but the inevitable decrease in Pokemon players led many to predict that the game was little more than a passing trend, but these latest figures prove otherwise. While Pokemon GO may not have maintained its impressive start in the mobile gaming arena, its popularity has endured and figures also highlight a revenue increase in 2019 compared to the first half of 2018. This is particularly impressive, as the game is entirely free to download and play, with the optional purchases not at all necessary to progress. Indeed, many trainers have likely played Pokemon GO over the past three years without spending a penny.
While this longevity can be partly attributed to Pokemon GO's increased amount of Community Day events and the long-awaited addition of battles between players, the power of the Pokemon franchise must also be taken into account. 2019 has seen both the announcement of Pokemon Sword & Shield and the hugely successful release of Detective Pikachu, both of which undoubtedly made people pick up their phones and head outside like it was 2016 all over again.
Source: Sensor Tower