Pokemon Go Just Had its Most Successful Year Since it Launched

Pokemon Go Just Had its Most Successful Year Since it Launched

In 2019, Niantic finally outdid Pokemon Go's wild debut.

While Pokemon Go may never recapture the global phenomenon status it enjoyed right after it launched, it's finally overtaken the player spending record it set back in 2016. App analytics firm Sensor Tower reports that Pokemon Go generated $894 million in gross player spending in 2019, outdoing its debut year by over $60 million.

That's a validating milestone for Pokemon Go, which Sensor Tower notes suffered a massive drop-off in player spending in 2017. On top of the natural decline in interest one would expect, Pokemon Go's first post-launch year was also marred by the fiasco of the first Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago and an ensuing class action lawsuit. Pokemon Go rebounded in 2018 and 2019 as Niantic improved on its community events, added significant new features like PvP battles, and introduced Team Rocket to the game.

Still, Pokemon Go's best spending months on record were the first three after it launched in 2016, and it managed to rack up a total $832 million in less than six months compared to 2019's $894 million. It might be a hazy memory now, but it's difficult to overstate just how big of a deal Go-mania was.

With Niantic promising even more improvements for the Go faithful in the coming months, from integration with Pokemon Home to the addition of online matchmaking, Pokemon Go's in a strong position to keep building on its 2019 successes. As for the addition of more Pokemon—arguably Go's most important variety of update—Niantic says it'll have more details to share soon on yet another batch of Pokemon from the Unova region.

Whether you're a first-time player or a dedicated trainer who needs a refresher, USG's Pokemon Go Guides hub can help you with everything from getting your favorite starter Pokemon to assembling a raid-ready roster.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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