Big news this week for Nintendo and Pokémon Go players: The company released its second-quarter earnings for 2016 and the game has rolled out a major Halloween update.
Ghost Pokémon are on the prowl and more common now through Nov. 1. Until recently, they’ve been elusive and tricky to find, similar to the mystery of how much revenue Nintendo made from the game. Nintendo’s second quarterly earnings report shows sales falling by a third, but popularity of Pokémon Go has Ninetendo feeling optimistic about the future.
We can all remember the Pokémon Go craze that took the world by storm this past summer. In just one week, it became the most popular mobile game in U.S. history. Millions of people were downloading and playing the game, which sent the stock share price of Nintendo, and the company’s net worth, skyrocketing. But how much money did Nintendo actually make?
Yesterday’s report shows that the company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Redmond, made ¥12 billion ($115 million) in licensing fees, largely from the game and its ties to the Pokémon Company International, based in Bellevue. That $115 million alone is equal to three-quarters of last year’s net income for Nintendo. There was also a small bump in sales of Nintendo hardware and software that is likely a side effect of Pokémon Go.
Meanwhile Niantic Labs, the game’s developer, has made approximately $600 million off the game in its three months of existence, according to App Annie. That means that Nintendo gets an estimated 19 percent cut of the game’s total revenue. Nintendo owns a 32 percent stake in the Pokémon Company, which co-developed the game with Niantic.
The game saw a huge spike in downloads when it was released earlier this July, but now fewer people are playing Pokémon Go. Excitement has shifted toward the upcoming release of the Nintendo Switch gaming console, with the big question being whether Nintendo’s future lies in mobile gaming or in consoles, and maybe the Switch can be both.
Downloads are down, but Pokémon Go is far from dead. Halloween features are the latest in a series of updates to attract more players. In addition to the abundance of previously-rare spooky Pokémon, there are other Halloween treats for Trainers, including chances to earn more candy.