Pokemon GO Celebrates Its Third Birthday with 1 Billion Downloads

It's one of the most profitable Western mobile games available as well, with more than a third of the game's revenue coming from the U.S.

Pokemon GO turned three last month, and with its birthday came some new statistics showing how well the mobile monster-catching game has done in its relatively short lifespan.

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Since Pokemon GO first debuted on July 6, 2016, it’s been downloaded more than 1 billion times and ranks as one of the highest-grossing Western mobile games.

The news comes via a set of new trailers The Pokemon Company released, the longest of which can be seen above. Per our resident Japanese expert and editor Ashley Shankle, the specific nugget of information is right at the end.

According to a statement Niantic made right before the game made it to Apple devices, half of these downloads — 500 million — came within the first three months after Pokemon GO launched (thanks Gamasutra).

One thing worth noting is that these numbers don’t necessarily mean each download is from a unique user. However, it’s unlikely the additional 500 million downloads within the past two and a half years came from re-downloads.

Mobile data analyst group Sensor Tower released new information in July showing how these numbers ultimately translate to profit as well. In its first three years, Pokemon GO brought in $2.65 billion, making it the second most profitable Western-developed mobile game on the market, far beyond Candy Crush Saga and only surpassed by Clash of Clans.

Thirty-five percent of that spending, or $928 million, comes from U.S. players, with Japanese players close behind at 29%, or $779 million. Interestingly, Germany sits ahead of the rest of Europe with with six percent of the game’s revenue, or $159 million. Whether that’s why Pokemon GO‘s summer tour always hits Germany or if it’s because the festival is held in Germany isn’t clear, though.

What is clear is that Pokemon GO isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, Niantic is still adding to the game, with the inclusion of Team Rocket and Shadow Pokemon being the latest expansion keeping players busy around the world.

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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.