Pokémon GO daily revenue: On the decline, but there’s still good news
By Mike Sonders
In this post, we’re using app revenue estimates from SurveyMonkey Intelligence to determine how Pokémon GO daily revenue is faring on U.S. smartphones.
Let’s see how things stand now that much of the hysteria around Pokémon GO has died down, a few months after the record-setting launch of Niantic’s hit game.
Pokémon GO daily revenue stats
We believe Pokémon GO daily revenue on smartphones in the U.S has generally been declining since the game’s peak in July.
We estimate that the game hit its October, 2016, daily revenue high of around $1.78 million on the 3rd of the month.
Yet only three weeks later, Pokémon GO hit a 30-day low, pulling in only ~$527 thousand on October 24, a 70% drop from the month’s peak.
To put these figures in context, we’ve compared them to the other top grossing mobile games in the U.S.
For a couple of months after its launch, when looking at combined revenue across both iOS and Android U.S. smartphones, Pokémon GO was the top-grossing mobile game by a clear margin.
But as Pokémon GO steadily loses players after a record-setting launch, its daily revenues have fallen to (and below) levels frequently-visited by other top-performing games.
In fact, October saw Pokémon GO’s daily revenues fall below those of Game of War, Mobile Strike, and Clash Royale, who are now vying for the top grossing game spot.
Pokémon GO’s revenue stats on U.S. smartphones have put it essentially on par with Candy Crush Saga… for the moment. (We expect Pokémon GO revenues will keep falling to some degree.)
Pokémon GO revenue per daily active user (DAU)
Average revenue per daily active user (or ARPDAU) is a frequently-used metric in the mobile gaming industry to measure and benchmark monetization rates.
For ARPDAU to be a useful benchmark, a mobile game developer needs to compare the ARPDAU rate of its game against those other games from the same game genre. (By using an app market intelligence tool like SurveyMonkey Intelligence, for example.)
This is necessary since mobile game statistics show that different game genres inherently monetize at different rates. For example, strategy games monetize at an average of $0.50 per use, while trivia games see an average rate of $0.04 per user.
So, comparing the ARPDAU performance of a trivia game to that of a strategy game (or vice versa) would create wildly unrealistic expectations.
That said, Pokémon GO defies categorization. None of the existing app store game categories like “casual”, “role playing”, “card”, and “strategy” capture the essence and mechanics of a search-and-capture augmented-reality (AR) card game like Pokémon GO.
Stacked-up against the average of most mobile game categories, Pokémon GO’s current ARPDAU rate of ~$0.21 on U.S. smartphones looks quite respectable. Only role-playing and strategy games tend to make more money on a per-user basis.
But, again, without a point of comparison from a similar AR search-and-capture game (or better yet: a set of AR search-and-capture games), we don’t know if Pokémon GO’s average revenue per daily active user is exceptionally good or if it has room for improvement.
While Pokémon GO daily revenue is in decline, the game’s current take of ~$500 thousand per day on U.S. smartphones keeps it among the top five grossing games across iOS and Android.
Meanwhile, the Pokémon GO’s revenue per daily active user rate of $0.21 is above the average ARPDAU rate of all but two mobile game genres (strategy and role-playing).
But without any other AR search-and-capture mobile games in the market to provide benchmark metrics, we can’t know if there’s notable room for improvement in Pokémon GO’s monetization rates. If there is, then Niantic could prop up or increase revenue even as the game’s player base shrinks.
This post originally appeared on October 28, 2016 on the blog of SurveyMonkey Intelligence, a provider of competitive intelligence for the mobile app industry.