Pokemon GO Hits 600 Million Downloads

Image: Kotaku

And as a small counter to the "Pokemon GO is dead train", here's John Hanke with something that can't be argued: facts.

Hanke, the chief executive of Pokemon GO and Ingress developers Niantic, recently testified in front of the US Senate at a hearing on augmented reality. He wasn't the only prominent face to appear - the Entertainment Software Association's general counsel appeared, as did the research vice president for analysts Gartner - but as far as the gaming industry was concerned, he was the biggest.

And as far as the committee was concerned, it's not hard to see why. In his opening statement, the Niantic CEO revealed that Pokemon GO had been downloaded "over 600 million times" and is actively played "in more than 100 countries" just over four months since it was released.

By way of comparison, Ingress was downloaded around 20 million times.

Amusingly, Hanke also reiterated how the game's popularity completely caught Niantic off-guard. "With the unanticipated popularity of the game, we had a couple of outages as we scaled up, and of course, hacking was a constant and costly nuisance," he testified, despite later saying that Ingress was particularly popular in Japan.

He added that even though Niantic currently employs 75 people, it was difficult for the company to come to grips with dealing with policy and regulations around the world. They might have been a start-up - in Silicon Valley terms, at least - but Pokemon GO was a global product, which meant discussions and negotiations with countries around the world (not all of which worked out in Pokemon GO's favour).

You can read John Hanke's full statement here, as well as seeing his longer testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.


Comments

    ... but how many uninstalls?
    ... how many requests for refunds?
    ... how many active users?

    Downloads the worse metric ever... the virus ILOVEYOU had 50 million dowloads.

    Btw love the Opera House pick... one week before Pokemon Go went live they had an Ingress event their. The marketing manager was absolutely clueless of the fact that next week his company was pushing the Go Live button on a game that he was sick and tired of being asked about... he was even quoted as saying "later this year"... nope 10 days.

      In fairness, Niantic kept the Pokemon GO launch a pretty good secret. Hardly anyone anywhere knew it was going to launch that week, so it's pretty harsh to hold that against them.

        I dont think they kept it a secret, I think they just had a couple of meetings on the day and said "release it" and pushed upload. Its a Google mentality to development where they build something that is usable and release it, and work on it iteratively.

        Its a software engineering mentality that didnt suit this product, and it hurt the potential for the title and potential for profits, and the only reason they want to taunt about 600 million dowloads is cause they have to convince the CFO/CEO they didnt blow a billion dollar game using untamed business practices.

        The marketing manager didn't know, cause they decided to release it in less than a week and showed no management reporting leading up to that decision to indicate it was "coming soon" or soon enough to start marketing campaigns. If you were going to release it in a month or two, would your marketing manager be hosting an Ingress event in Sydney or would he of delegated it to work on Pokemon Go marketing or some data analytics to tell them how huge the game was, after all it was the highest viewed mobile game trailer on youtube.

    Unrelated point of order ...

    ... something that can't be argued: facts.

    I'm fairly sure the US election just rendered this statement untrue.

    I wonder how many people were like me and downloaded, then went: wot? Register a google account first? Yeah, nah... fuckit. Uninstall.

    Whenever something like pokemon go records pops up it angers me to the core. Niantic released the game in pretty much every single country except for india and china. Added to that they geoblocked the whole place. Yeah i feel like angry anger from inside out right now

      It's easy to get in other areas, just sideload. If you're on iOS there are also options I'm pretty sure.

    Let's see how the user base looks in a week or two now that Sun and Moon are out

      About to jump massively if the rumour about gen 2 hitting in Dec pans out.

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