Last month, Niantic formally introduced Team Rocket into the world of Pokémon Go. Players have been able to encounter members of Team Rocket at Poké Stops, where the villainous grunts would camp out for short periods of time. There, players could battle them and, upon winning, catch one of their Pokémon to “purify” them—essentially freeing them from mind control.
Team Rocket has been an infamous part of the Pokémon franchise for over twenty years now, so the in-game event was a huge success. Players spent much more money in the game throughout the month of August than they have in most other months since Pokémon Go’s release in 2016. Sensor Tower has estimated that Pokémon Go generated around $110 million worldwide during August, making it the fourth highest earning month for the mobile game. It previously earned more in July, August, and September 2016—right after its release. August 2019’s revenue saw a 44% increase since August 2018.
Last month’s revenue mostly came from players in the U.S. They contributed 40% of the total revenue—approximately $44 million—followed by Japan, where players contributed 31%–$34 million.
While this was a big increase in terms of revenue, Pokémon Go saw few new players start the game—only a 10% increase in new users since August 2018.
Pokémon Go was the fourth highest earning mobile game worldwide last month, coming in after Honor of Kings, Fate/Grand Order, and PUBG Mobile. Those games grossed $141 million, $159 million, and $160 million respectively.
It’s unclear how much longer the Team Rocket event will last in Pokémon Go as Niantic hasn’t specified an end date yet, but it may be in their best interest to keep it going to bring in more revenue this month. Despite the ongoing legal issues with the game that Niantic finally settled only recently, Pokémon Go continues to maintain a loyal core fan base, especially with the news of Generation 5 Pokémon coming to the app soon.