It’s funny to see how well Pokemon Go continues to fare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, a game with the name “Go” in the title presupposes the act of going places. In short, we’ve been told not to go anywhere we don’t need in order to curb the spread of the virus. That is, except, for outdoor areas where people are safest. For that reason, many spend more time outside walking and exploring than regularly occurs. With some minor tweaks, Niantic’s popular catch ’em all title is allowing us to play even if we’re around home more often. The extra time to play games and minor tweaks helped Pokemon Go revenue cross $1 billion year to date. That major intake of profits also helped the mobile game cross $4 billion in revenue for its lifetime.
Pandemic Living Leads to Historic Pokemon Go Revenue
Image Credit: Niantic
I’m outside more than usual this year thanks to COVID-19. With indoor activities on hold, I walk, run, and spend more time outside. I also play more video games. Combine the two and it’s not hard to see why Niantic’s Pokemon Go, the hit AR monster-catching game, is doing so well. By the game’s fourth birthday, revenue topped $3.6 billion and player counts continued to rise. Months later, the game continues to spike thanks to habit changes and more recreation time. When the game launched in July 2016, everyone seemed to at least try it out. When spending dipped the following year, experts wondered if things were slowly fizzling out. Instead, the game rebounded and continued to increase in revenue and players each year since. In 2020 alone, 30% more people played the game than the previous year.
Spending in-game is mostly related to items that help you catch Pokemon. Things like balls, potions, and other items found in the video games help players fight in gyms and other events. The game also features cosmetic items like outfits and special attire tied into events and the mainline games. There’s no denying the game’s influence on mobile experiences. Harry Potter and Jurassic World both followed Pokemon Go‘s footsteps in creating AR game experiences.
What’s Happening in Pokemon Go Right Now?
Image Credit: The Pokemon Company
You’d think players might get bored of the game given its limited offerings. In fact, the game is doing a great job of keeping its simple mechanics diverse. For example, each month brings new field research quests. Things are simple in some cases like hatching an egg or winning a raid. Others, like making a number of perfect curveballs throws in a row can be trickier. Completing these quests gives you access to special eggs, Pokemon encounters, and more. Much like Animal Crossing‘s Nook Miles challenges, this is a minor way to keep a casual game interesting.
As the pandemic shifts into winter, people might not be outside as much as usual. Still, the game’s algorithm allows for more Pokemon spawning near your home than previously coded. Hopefully, that keeps players interested if they’re not down for bundling up for the cold. Many, however, will probably endure a bit of a chill to make the most of this popular game. If Pokemon Go revenue is any sign, then this game is still sure to be around well past 2021 and beyond.
Are you still playing Pokemon Go? If so, then let us know in the comments what keeps you playing. Thanks for choosing Comic Years for all things gaming, comics, and pop culture.
Featured Image Credit: Niantic/The Pokemon Company
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.