Niantic, the developers behind the highly popular mobile game Pokémon Go, have stumbled upon a significant setback with their latest game update. The changes made have led to a massive dip in the company’s revenue, causing concerns for both the developers and the gaming community.
Mobilegamer.biz reports that Niantic’s monthly revenue for April amounted to a meager $34.7 million, a considerable decline from the $42.8 million earned in March and the $57.9 million generated in February. This drop in revenue has sparked concerns for the future of the game.
It’s not unusual for Pokémon Go to experience fluctuations in revenue from month to month. The game hosts in-game events regularly, some of which require players to purchase access, while others are free but encourage players to spend money on in-game items like Pokéballs or egg incubators to assist with tasks.
However, a 40% drop in revenue over two months is more than what Niantic would typically expect, suggesting that the boycott resulting from the recent changes to the raid pass system has been effective.
During the pandemic, Niantic introduced a remote raid feature to allow players to raid without leaving their homes. The gaming community praised this addition, as it made Pokémon Go more accessible to disabled players and those with limited mobility.
On March 30, Niantic announced that the price of remote raids would increase by almost 100%. Additionally, players would be limited to participating in only five remote raids each day. The company cited the need to preserve and improve the unique experience of playing Pokémon Go as the reason for the change.
Many players may not be aware that a significant portion of Niantic’s revenue comes from selling players’ location data. With more players opting to raid remotely from their homes, Niantic has had less data to sell, which might have contributed to the decision to increase remote raid prices.
Instead of encouraging players to venture outside, the changes seem to have had the opposite effect. A large online movement emerged, with players banding together to boycott the game and uninstall it on April 6, the day the changes were implemented.
While some players deleted Pokémon Go altogether, others continued to play but pledged not to spend any more money in-game. These actions combined have led to Niantic’s significant revenue drop.
In 2022, Niantic generated an impressive $703 million in revenue, averaging $58 million per month. With only $34.7 million earned last month, it marks the lowest-earning month for the company since February 2018.
Pokémon Go’s latest update has left Niantic facing a massive revenue loss. With players boycotting and refusing to spend money in-game, the company will need to evaluate its decisions and possibly revise its strategies to win back its loyal fanbase.