Pokémon GO Payments Drop 79 Percent as Merchandise Spikes

Pokémon GO Payments Drop 79 Percent as Merchandise Spikes 1

When Niantic launched Pokémon GO this past summer for smartphones across North America, the app became an instant hit in Canada and the United States. Players around the world tapped into the game, exploring their surrounding towns and cities in order to capture Pokémon and compete for their favourite team. But according to a new report published by Slice Intelligence, Pokémon GO players aren't so fast to shell out their own cash for the game anymore.

The study, which was posted on September 9th, largely observed players in the United States. Using the game's July 15th peak as a model, the company found that while Niantic "introduced nearly two times as many in-game spenders to the mobile gaming market in the weeks following Pokémon GO's launch," that level has since "returned to pre-Pokémon GO levels."

Granted, that doesn't necessarily mean Pokémon GO isn't selling well. Slice found that 28.4 percent of in-game mobile revenue in August 2016 was straight from Pokémon GO, making it the highest paying mobile game at the moment. Its second place competitor, Candy Crush Saga, is still stuck in the single digits. Which means Pokémon GO holds a whopping 23.9 percent lead at the moment.

The study also found that Pokémon GO effectively boosted Pokémon's merchandise sales, with a 233 percent increase in August 2016 over August 2015. So while Pokémon GO's peak spending days may be out, the franchise itself is still selling quite well with consumers. Which makes sense, seeing how the Pokémon Company has been churning out a whole slew of merchandise in celebration of the franchise's 20th anniversary.

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However, with an earlier report suggesting that Pokémon GO players have been on the general decline, one wonders if the app will see a gradual dip in engagement over the next few months. A drop would make sense, seeing how it's back-to-school season throughout North America: there's simply not as much time to play when studies are back in session for both teens and young adults alike.

Still, with Pokémon Sun & Moon slated for November 18th, this holiday season looks like a big year for the Pokémon franchise. So long as the Pokémon Company can keep their franchise running strong until the game's release, at least.