Pokémon Go developer Niantic has responded to a recent estimate of its App Store revenue, which appeared to show a sizable drop for the month of April, when controversial changes to Remote Raid Pass went into effect.
Claims by third-party app store analytics firm AppMagic, initially reported by MobileGamer.biz, suggested Pokémon Go’s revenue took a big hit last month – its lowest monthly since February 2018, five years ago. Total.
Responding to Eurogamer today, Niantic said the estimate was incorrect, and that Pokémon Go’s 2023 revenue to date is the same period in 2022.
A Niantic spokesperson said, “We generally do not comment on third-party estimates of our revenue because they are often wrong, which is the case here.” “Our revenue so far in 2023 is higher than last year.”
That statement doesn’t contradict the claim that April’s App Store revenue was down month-over-month — something Niantic suggested was business as usual.
To those who linked the report to Niantic’s April remote raid changes, the company retorted to say that it had seen a successful increase in in-person raiding.
“We don’t focus on month-to-month trends as they fluctuate based on major live events,” Niantic continued. “This year’s changes have already led to an increase in in-person reading and we are excited to introduce exciting new features in the coming months.”
Last month, Niantic introduced a series of controversial changes to the game to limit remote raiding – a feature introduced during lockdown to let you play from your couch.
Changes include the introduction of a daily limit on the number of Remote Raid Passes you can use each day, and a significant increase in their price. The intention was to rekindle in-person raiding, and cut down on remote raiding as the principal way of obtaining powerful Pokémon in the game.
While Niantic’s statement today discusses Pokémon Go’s 2023 revenue — several months before those remote raiding changes take effect — the developer previously told Eurogamer that it expects its income from the game to remain stable. In an interview with Eurogamer alongside the changes being announced, Ed Wu, legendary Pokémon Go designer, told me that Niantic had factored in, and hoped that the changes would “not create a short-term revenue impact for us”. Were.
“At the end of the day, we are a business that wants to provide this experience for our instructors for many years to come,” Wu said. “The changes have long-term sustainability implications, and that’s the reason behind them.”
The suggestion was that while fewer remote raid passes would be bought, the higher price would counteract this.
It’s also worth remembering that App Store revenue is also a source of income for the game, alongside brand and commercial sponsorship, and the sale of live event tickets through Niantic’s web store.