Pokémon medallion battle

Sure, the fad might have been over quickly—but the game is continuing to lớn prove sầu that it can be successful long after the hype.

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Within 24 hours of its U.S. App Store release, Pokemon GO became the biggest game of năm nhâm thìn.

Poketháng GO broke the record for first-week downloads & became the fastest app ever to lớn reach number one on the Top Grossing Apps chart.

Then public interest plummeted. Google Trends show a spike in public interest in the game—followed by a steep decline in the weeks after:


But Pokemon GO isn’t as short-lived as this spike và fall would suggest. Sure, the fad might have sầu been over quickly—but the game is continuing khổng lồ prove sầu that it can be successful long after the hype.

Don’t assume fewer acquisitions means failure

Since their record-setting first-week download numbers, Poketháng GO has seen a nosedive in acquisition.

As the graph depicts, after the initial surge of downloads in mid-July, the game saw a steep decline in downloads from over 5 million per day around July 12, to lớn around 450,000 per day by July 25. Downloads have continued lớn decline since then.

The drop-off looks damning compared to lớn the spike in downloads that came right before. But that spike was caused by the incredible public hype surrounding the launch—the hype that led lớn 50 times the initial user acquisition than software developer Niantic expected.

And since Niantic spent virtually nothing on player acquisition, none of this cost them anything. Except in terms of server maintenance, of course.

Bottom Line:

The decline in public interest & downloads is not necessarily a death sentence for Poketháng GO, or even an indication that the game was a flash in the pan. Plummeting acquisition numbers can be a bad sign, but they can also be a sign that you quickly saturated a market or got a huge press bump. Pokemon GO had both.

Focus on retention rates

A study by Mobile retìm kiếm company Apptopia published Pokemon GO’s ratio of Daily Active sầu Users / Monthly Active sầu Users. This is a standard way of measuring điện thoại app usage that compares usage each day lớn usage for the entire month. Pokemon GO’s DAU/MAU ratio drops to 40% of peak engagement by August 4, almost a month after the game’s release.

It’s tempting to lớn use stats like this to lớn create a narrative sầu about Poketháng GO’s “decline.” But this ratio is probably not a good indicator of Pokemon GO’s long-term retention. In the first month of an app’s release, the MAU is probably going to reflect acquisition numbers more than real usage numbers.

There is a better way lớn look at this: weekly retention is not skewed by a particularly large spike in acquisition because it compares the number of active returning players each week from the previous week instead of comparing each day khổng lồ the entire month.

This trang web shows data for Pokemon GO’s weekly retention along with the data for weekly retention of other top gaming apps.

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Through September, Pokemon GO’s weekly retention rate of 70% was on par with that of Candy Crush Saga và Clash of Clans.

Poketháng GO may have sầu lost over 15 million daily users a month, but the game’s rate of churn is actually on par with other smash-hit games like Clash of Clans. Both apps were seeing weekly churn rates of around 25% as of October 5.

Bottom Line:

Poketháng GO’s DAU/MAU ratio for its first month is misleading. It was skewed by the spike in acquisitions following the app’s launch.

Poketháng GO has normal weekly churn rates for a top app—it just has more players to lớn thua kém, which makes its numbers of lost players sound worse than they are. At the beginning of October, Pokemon GO still had over twice as many monthly active users as Clash of Clans—and most importantly, it had a loyal core of paying players.

Catch whales lớn generate revenue

According khổng lồ a study by Slice Intelligence, the population of Poketháng GO paying players peaked in size on July 15 và has been shrinking ever since. At the beginning of September, Pokemon GO had lost almost 80% of its paying players & its paying population was well below that of other di động games.

Yet Poketháng GO was still generating over six times the in-game revenue of Candy Crush Saga—the second-most profitable game in the phầm mềm store.

This indicates that most of the revenue—which comes from in-app purchases in the free-to-download game—is coming from a loyal player core.

Slice Intelligence also reports that 11% of users making in-phầm mềm purchases were players who had made 10 or more in-tiện ích purchases in the previous year. In the Smartphone gaming app industry, these rare but valuable players are called whales, like the high-rollers in casinos who are lured lớn spkết thúc a lot of money.

Bottom Line:

Poketháng GO can thua thảm 80% of its paying players and still pull in more revenue than any other Mobile game thanks lớn its core group of paying players.

Whales only Cosplay 3% of the overall Smartphone game app user population, but they generate two-thirds of the market’s revenue. Poketháng GO’s financial success was in catching these loyal whales who will continue khổng lồ stay và pay while casual users (who were contributing very little to revenue) churn.

Embrace a less flashy success story

The reality of Poketháng GO’s longer-term success is less exciting than its sensational debut. Pokemon GO’s rates of churn are generally on par with other top Mobile gaming apps. And despite decreases in other metrics, Pokemon GO is making over $2 million a day and has sustained a top 10 grossing figure in the ứng dụng market.

Naysayers who dismiss Poketháng GO as a “craze” are missing the point: if you hook enough high-paying players who love your game, you don’t need sky-high acquisition rates or media attention.

And despite what the haters are saying, Niantic is quietly releasing updates và new features even now—whatever they need lớn do to lớn keep those core players around và keep the money rolling in.

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