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Pokémon GO made a stunning $950 million in 2016, most downloaded game of the year

by Ron Duwell | January 17, 2017January 17, 2017 9:00 am PST

Pokémon GO might not be stealing headlines like it was earlier in the summer, but make no mistake, the game is still huge. According to mobile market researcher App Annie, the game made a stunning $950 million throughout 2016.

This puts it in the number three spot behind only Monster Strike and Clash Royale, and keep in mind, it was only available for half of the year. Clash Royale came out in January, and Monster Strike has been available since 2013, which is also an impressive feat to have lasted this long.

By comparison, Pokémon GO also was the number 1 downloaded game on both iOS and Android. App Annie says the easy controls, real-world augmentation, and Pokémon brand helped it the most.

By attracting millions of non-gamers, it reached a level of success that eludes even some of the most successful traditional video games. This was thanks to the game’s beloved intellectual property, simple mechanics, real-world augmented reality gameplay, and perhaps most of all, its social nature.

The in-game purchases also helped a bit…

Super Mario Run has been criticized for its payment plan, and my guess is Nintendo is rethinking how it approaches mobile games after these first two experiments. Pokémon GO charged gamers for PokeBalls and other items, allowing its money to flow throughout the year.

Super Mario Run, on the other hand, gave an optional one-time payment of $9.99. Once you pay that, you’re done. Some said it was too expensive, and the stats show it wasn’t enough to make Nintendo any real money. Having in-game purchases is somehow seen as “below” traditional games, especially Mario.

Nintendo needs to break that perception and stick to where the money flows if it wants to survive. Super Mario Run can fix its issues before launching on Android.

App Annie

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...