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Pokemon Go remains most successful mobile game despite losing 79 percent of paying players

Candy Crush Saga came in a distant second.


report published by digital analytics firm Slice Intelligence shows that Pokemon Go is the most successful mobile game with a bullet despite shedding over three quarters of its paying players since its peak in mid-July (via GameSpot).

"With Wednesday’s revelation that Pokemon 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 Pokemon GO’s U.S. paying population has declined by 79 percent since the number of in-game buyers peaked on July 15th."

Per data gathered by Slice, Niantic's AR game opened the floodgates for spenders new to the world of mobile games and in-app purchases. Pokemon Go was most successful during its first two weeks; since then, in-game spending has settled back to pre-release levels.

Despite shedding paying customers, the game generated a hair over 28 percent of in-game revenue on all mobile platforms in late August.

Pokemon Go's success has had residual effects. Analysts believe the mobile game's popularity caused a spike in 3DS sales and mainline Pokemon titles like X and Y. In fact, Slice recorded a 233 percent increase in Pokemon-related toys and games last month.

"Branded apparel sales in August even outpaced last year’s Halloween season, which is when branded Pokemon apparel purchases are historically highest," per the report.

Niantic has been working on ways to keep players coming back to capture pocket monsters. A Buddy system, due out in a future update, will let you choose a Pokemon to pal around with you and earn you bonuses.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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From The Chatty
    • reply
      September 12, 2016 1:45 PM

      "most successful mobile game"

      define successful

    • reply
      September 12, 2016 1:46 PM

      holy shit. when they launch more content, this could have a huge revival. lots of those paid accounts won't be dormant for long.

      • reply
        September 12, 2016 1:47 PM

        Potentially, it's really up to Niantic.

        • reply
          September 12, 2016 1:52 PM

          if they grossed $500 million dollars and have that much churn, they need to roll out more content. ASAP.

          so many people wanted more of that game, obviously, but didn't get it in a timely fashion so they all quit. it looks like Niantic did another ban wave w/r/t rooted and jailbroken phones, so the game should be ready for the rest of the stuff.

          I get they had to get their back end in order with so many hacked clients (did wells fargo also duplicate bot accounts for pokemon? trololololol) but now it's time to release the GAME CONTENT

    • reply
      September 12, 2016 2:59 PM

      It's crazy that they haven't managed to expand on their game AT ALL in the months it's been out

      • DM7 legacy 10 years
        September 12, 2016 3:27 PM

        Why? They can do the minimum and still make money.

        • reply
          September 12, 2016 3:37 PM

          That's leaving a ton on the table though.

        • reply
          September 13, 2016 3:51 AM

          Because they could earn a lot more by just keeping people a little bit longer. They made 500mil with the barebones product go is, and have lost 70-80% of players now. How much bank wouldn't they have made if retention was a little bit higher? It seems a no-brainier to me.

    • reply
      September 12, 2016 3:59 PM

      As a casual dad playing with his kids, I feel like I've gotten way more than I paid for ($0) but we're at the point now that it's impossible to make any headway.

      Every gym is already packed with monsters way too difficult to attempt. If I'd been playing it for hours everyday maybe I'd be on par. And I would never buy coins to quicken the grind.

      If you could trade Pokemons with friends, "track" each other somehow as you played, easily post finds on Facebook... I'm sure all of these ideas have been discussed here. There is just not enough of a game to make we want to pay anything for it.

      • reply
        September 12, 2016 4:06 PM

        yep, this is my problem. i haven't played since the first weekend since i wasn't allowed to walk. i don't have any hope of keeping up. i'm still level 18.

      • reply
        September 12, 2016 4:26 PM

        I'm surprised they don't tier the gyms or something.

        • reply
          September 12, 2016 4:28 PM

          Got an arydactyl on my lunch break today, felt good

      • reply
        September 12, 2016 4:30 PM


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