Pokemon GO Has Lost 79% of Its Paying Population, Still Profitable

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Pokemon GO Has Lost 79% of Its Paying Population, Still Profitable

The amount of players paying for in-game purchases in Pokemon GO has dropped considerably.

Slice Intelligence [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/pokemon%20go?os=%20pokemon%20go] claims that the game's paying population is down a massive 79%. What's even more surprising is that despite this, Pokemon GO is still the most profitable mobile game by a considerable margin.

First, check out this chart showing Pokemon GO's sharp rise in popularity, followed by its almost equally sharp drop:



Then, have a look at this revenue chart, which shows Pokemon GO making over six times the money that the second highest game, Candy Crush Saga makes:



This is very interesting, and supports the "whale" theory of free-to-play mobile games. Essentially, a very small portion of a mobile game's playerbase spends an inordinate amount of money on the game, which is what generates the majority of its profits. As the paying playerbase has dropped considerably, but the game is still making bank, this is a reasonable explanation.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts - not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user - so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD's Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.

Source: Slice Intelligence [https://intelligence.slice.com/pokemon-gos-paying-population-dropped-79-percent-still-profitable-mobile-game/]

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lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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And at the bottom of that drop, it's still got 20M people using it, one fifth of the 100M people playing every other game available on mobile.

That's remarkable. So it's gone from being "The End All Of Mobile Gaming" to "Basically The End All Of Mobile Gaming".
 

Johnson McGee

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Nov 16, 2009
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I'm no expert but I imagine that this kind of spike-drop happens to every f2p game, just not on this scale. I'm just glad that there's finally a mobile game dominating the market that isn't COMPLETE TRASH.
 

Thaluikhain

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Apr 4, 2020
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Is anyone surprised? Of course once the initial surge was over they'd lose people, that was never going to be a long term revenue source, but they were always going to keep lots of other players unless the game was totally rubbish.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
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Johnson McGee said:
I'm no expert but I imagine that this kind of spike-drop happens to every f2p game, just not on this scale. I'm just glad that there's finally a mobile game dominating the market that isn't COMPLETE TRASH.
As one who does not like Pokemon at all, my opinion differs from yours. Just saying.

OT: I kinda' wish these things didn't pop up in the first place. I'd rather play Tetris, which of course is available...everywhere.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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irish286 said:
Just think what their numbers would be if they would fix the damn game....
Or add battles to the game. Find some random person out in the world, and challenge them to a Pokebattle.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

Alleged Feather-Rustler
Jun 5, 2013
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Well duh. The fact a puppy did something cute on YouTube was a legitimate threat to Pokemon Go, let alone Cats, babies, video games,peoples and everything else.
 

TelosSupreme

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008Zulu said:
irish286 said:
Just think what their numbers would be if they would fix the damn game....
Or add battles to the game. Find some random person out in the world, and challenge them to a Pokebattle.
I am seriously still baffled that battling was in the game from the get-go. It's so obvious.
 

Pseudonym

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Nov 4, 2020
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Now I wouldn't be able to make a good estimation of this but does anyone know whether they might have already made back their money. If they made more sales in juli than the rest of the mobile gaming market combined, and this game wasn't hugely more expensive to make than other mobile games, I'd expect them to already be rolling in cash. Anything from now on is just pure profit for them, I'd expect. And even if their sales get devided by 5 another time, they'll still be top dog in terms of money made.

Also, of course they weren't going to have a stable player base that massive for that long. It was clearly a hype that is by now dying down. A lot of people have had their fun with it and will now move on. And if they retain 1 million players for a longer time that is still quite an accomplishment.
 

pearcinator

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Apr 8, 2009
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I stopped playing cos with each 'update' they seem to make the game worse. Just fix the issues first and maybe I'll come back to it.
 

Stupidity

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Sep 21, 2013
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There is no endgame to Pok?mon Go.
Collecting pokemon is a fun novelty but there is nothing to do with them. Its pretty obvious that no Pok?mon lineup is tough enough to actually hold a gym for any real length of time. The best defense is justa gym with a high enough level that players refuse to slog through the clickfest gym battles.
The game just gets more aggravating as you get higher level, with even basic pokemon like weedle and pidgey becoming annoying to catch. Also the missing Dex entries become harder and harder to fill as they just don't spawn in your region.

So far all the updates have been about making collecting pokemon easier, I wont be paying cent till we get something to do with them.
 

MCerberus

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Jun 26, 2013
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Well if Niantic is believed this is a drop from "oh god it's the apocalypse" to "beyond our wildest expectations". I think they're okay with it.

Now, can we get an "It prints money" gif in here
 

Buizel91

Autobot
Aug 25, 2008
5,265
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Even if Pokemon Go wasn't making as much as other games, it's done wonders for Nintendo's Pokemon games on the 3DS. It's making money on both fronts (On Mobile and bringing in more money for the DS systems) which is pretty damn awesome.

And i'd imagine the numbers will spike again once Gen2 is released.
 

Diablo1099_v1legacy

Doom needs Yoghurt, Badly
Dec 12, 2009
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Gibbagobba said:
008Zulu said:
irish286 said:
Just think what their numbers would be if they would fix the damn game....
Or add battles to the game. Find some random person out in the world, and challenge them to a Pokebattle.
I am seriously still baffled that battling was in the game from the get-go. It's so obvious.
While a key part of the series, I think the main stumbling block is trying to figure out a way to implement them that can't be exploited or encourage asshole-ish behavior.
There is already a lot of news stories about people setting lures and then mugging people who show up, if you start adding a "Proper" Player-vs-Player system, it might cause more such behavior because people are dicks.

That and in a lot of F2P games, one of the biggest issue is that the "Whales" have so much more power then normal players because of how the business model is set up, something (I hope) the developers are aware of and want to avoid so the best players aren't just the ones who use their credit card to stomp on everyone else.
So yeah...it sounds simple on paper but there are a lot of things to address before they even get to the part of playtesting it and ensuring it's even fun.
 

Buizel91

Autobot
Aug 25, 2008
5,265
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Stupidity said:
There is no endgame to Pok?mon Go.
Collecting pokemon is a fun novelty but there is nothing to do with them. Its pretty obvious that no Pok?mon lineup is tough enough to actually hold a gym for any real length of time. The best defense is justa gym with a high enough level that players refuse to slog through the clickfest gym battles.
The game just gets more aggravating as you get higher level, with even basic pokemon like weedle and pidgey becoming annoying to catch. Also the missing Dex entries become harder and harder to fill as they just don't spawn in your region.

So far all the updates have been about making collecting pokemon easier, I wont be paying cent till we get something to do with them.
Me and a few of my mates managed to rank up a gym to level 10, we held it for nearly 2 weeks.

But yeh i get what you mean, have enough Snorlax's, Lapras's Exeggutors and Vaporeons in a gym and it's practically impossible to beat on your own.
 

Buizel91

Autobot
Aug 25, 2008
5,265
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Thaluikhain said:
Is anyone surprised? Of course once the initial surge was over they'd lose people, that was never going to be a long term revenue source, but they were always going to keep lots of other players unless the game was totally rubbish.
And if i'm not mistaken, the game hasn't even been released everywhere yet, pretty sure there are still a few countries that don't have it, yet are expected to get at some point.
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
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Let's be honest, this is the typical half life of a mobile game. I mean the game is still dominating the mobile market more then WoW dominated the MMO market at its peak, and this is after a massive downfall. Is it any wonder the thing is still profitable (though let's be honest, how expensive can it be?)
 

thewatergamer

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Aug 4, 2012
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Its almost like making a game with the depth of a pool built for dipping toes in won't hold peoples attention very long! Yeah...I always knew that Pokemon GO would be a fad, just like flappy bird and angry birds before it, fad is one letter away from fade and without something to bring people back...we get massive population drops like this