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Gaming

Pokémon GO’s paying population dropped 79 percent but is still the most profitable mobile game

by Taylor Stanton - September 09, 2016

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With Wednesday’s revelation that Pokémon GO will soon be available on the Apple Watch and that the games plus wearable will launch next week, Slice Intelligence decided to take a look at how many players are still making in-game purchases with Niantic’s two-month-old game. Data reveals that Pokémon GO’s U.S. paying population has declined by 79 percent since the number of in-game buyers peaked on July 15th.

The mobile market has returned to pre-Pokémon levels

Slice Intelligence previously reported that Pokémon GO brought new spenders to the mobile gaming market. Data indicates that Niantic’s hit introduced nearly two times as many in-game spenders to the mobile gaming market in the weeks following Pokémon GO’s launch. However, since then, the number of buyers in the mobile market has returned to pre-Pokémon GO levels.

Pokémon GO continues to catch the most revenue

While peak Pokémon GO has passed, Niantic's augmented reality experience is currently the most lucrative mobile game. In August, 28 percent of the dollars generated in the mobile game market was pocketed by Pokémon GO. To put this in perspective, Pokémon GO garnered six times the revenue made by the second most profitable game in this period. That’s a lot of Pokécoins!

In addition to generating the most revenue, Pokémon GO still maintains a relatively large amount of paying Pokémon trainers. As of September third, nearly a quarter of all mobile game buyers made a purchase with Pokémon GO, despite the massive decline of in-game spenders.

Pokémon merchandise sales are eye-catching

Online Pokémon merchandise sales have swelled in the wake of the game’s July premiere. The revenue amassed from branded Pokémon toys and games was 233 percent larger this August compared to the same month last year. Branded apparel sales in August even outpaced last year’s Halloween season, which is when branded Pokémon apparel purchases are historically highest.

About this Data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.


Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.


Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.

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