Thanks to its ability to attract non-gamers, nostalgic characters, simple mechanics, the novelty of augmented reality and its social nature, Pokemon GO reached a level of success in 2016 that eludes even some of the most successful traditional video games.
Record downloads, engagement and of course - revenue.
The exact figures were revealed in the App Annie 2016 Retrospective:
Contrary to publishers' concerns, we have noted that it did not appear to eat into other games' revenue or usage. Since the game attracted more than just traditional mobile gamers and was often played during users' traditionally "non-mobile" time, the game did not seem to prosper at the expense of other games. The game rose in a breathtaking fashion, reaching US$800 million (AUD$1.05 billion) in consumer spend in 110 days (by the end of 2016, the game reached over US$950 (AUD$1.2 billion) million in consumer spend). This was far faster than some of the most successful mobile games of all time.
To put Pokemon GO's success in a broader perspective, its global consumer spend in 2016 exceeded the total worldwide box office gross of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Pokemon GO's monetisation in 2016 demonstrates the viability of novel gameplay ideas in mobile gaming, the reports says.
Pokemon GO wasn't just impressive for it's revenue, though - it's user engagement was extraordinary. The time spent in in Pokemon GO was nearly as high as that of the next 19 biggest games combined.
Following its initial success, it was able to boost usage by re-engaging users with its special Halloween in-game event. On the event's second day, total time spent was more than twice as high as it was on the day prior to starting. Such huge success for an in-game event proves that the lives of mobile games can (and should) be extended periodically by new content, according to the report.
"Pokemon GO's success has done more to familiarise consumers with the concept of augmented reality (AR) than perhaps any other piece ofsoftware (or hardware, for that matter)," the report states.
What makes Pokemon GO so important for the app space, though, is that this familiarisation didn't take place inside our homes with specialised AR devices. Instead, it happened in the real world with mobile phones.
"If this is any indication," says the reports, "the future of AR is in mobile apps."