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Has Pokémon GO caught 'em all?

by Taylor Stanton - February 23, 2019

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Have we reached peak Pokémon? Recent data from Slice Intelligence reveals that Pokémon GO’s paying population apexed on July 15th, when the game had 56 percent more paying players than all other mobile games combined. Since then, however, Pokemon's group of paying players has shrunk by 32 percent.

Niantic shouldn’t be shaking in its Pokéballs yet. The game is still huge. In the quest to catch ’em all, thousands of players have made in-game purchases on PokéCoins, the game’s currency, in order to acquire more tools to become a master trainer. Spending on PokéCoins accounted for 52 percent of the entire mobile gaming market’s revenue on July 15th, positioning Pokémon Go as the most lucrative mobile game since its launch. 

While Pokémon GO’s decline of in-app buyers is steep, it's still got more staying power than its peers. Clash Royale, another new, popular entrant, saw it's buying population top out the fourth day after release before slowly declining, whereas Pokémon grew the entire week of launch before plateauing.

Pokémon GO continues to capture gamer dollars

Fifty percent of those who made an in-app purchase in Pokémon GO the first week repeated a purchase the following week, spending an average of $20 each. By contrast, Clash Royale was only able to compel 39 percent of its players to continue spend on the game after the first week. 

More than 40 percent of in-game spenders hadn't made a single mobile game purchase in 2016 before playing Pokémon GO. Niantic's hit is reaching consumers who are either new to, or very light spenders in, mobile games. 

Pokémon’s GOing mainstream

The gender breakdown of Pokémon GO’s paying players is an indication that the game reached the mainstream market. During launch week, nearly three-quarters of in-game spending came from men.  However, women have increasingly downloaded the app. As of July 24, the game’s spending population was split nearly 60:40, which is very close to the gender make-up of the total mobile gaming population.

Pokémon trainers are increasingly more diverse in age. Millennials did account for over half the paying population during launch week, and while they still are the largest group,  they now only account for 44 percent of buyers. GenerationX is getting more into the game, as nearly one-third of the game's spenders are members of this demographic. 

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.