Pokémon Go is money rainmaker for these tech giants

It’s just one and half month and the success of Pokemon Go – 100+ million active users— has shown the immense potential of using augmented reality in the games.  It had more users than the Candy Crush Saga within a week and now, as per Guinness World Records, it has sized five world records already.

The phenomenal success of the game has changed fortunes of Niantic overnight – worth around 3.5 Bn now. At present, the game is raking up $1.6 million per day from the iOS store alone. But is Niantic alone getting wet in the money rain by Pokemon Go? Nah, there are other, of course, reaping the sweet sweet fruit.


One company that did round in the news more than Niantic for Pokemon Go success is Nintendo. The Japanese company partnered with Niantic to develop the game though the game was first published by Niantic.

Nintendo’s shares after the release of the game in July surged and added $7.5 billion to its market value. Later, Nintendo’s shares plummet when it announced owning only 32% of the share in Pokemon Go. Whatsoever, Nintendo is all set to make Billions from the game by the next year.


Do you know who gave birth to Niantic? No? Google, actually!  Yes, Google, in 2004, acquired a startupname Keyhole by John Hanke. John helped Google develop Google Earth. Later in 2010, John founded an internal Google startup Niantic that Alphabet spun off in 2015.

Hope you have gotten the Google connection here. Google, in Oct 2015, with Nintendo and the Pokemon Company invested $30 million in Niantic.  Though Google’s stakes in Niantic are not clear but it’s obvious that Google is silently making money from its investment.

Other than the investment, Google, through its play store, is earning from in-app purchases. If a player purchases coins of worth $100 from Play Store, Google gets $30 of it.

Further, Niantic has a thin patent portfolio of only 21 patents of which only 1 is on Pokemon Go, and is prone to getting sued for patent infringement. Google, on the other hand, owns considerable patents in AR and being a stakeholder there are high possibilities of Google licensing them to Niantic in the future and collecting licensing revenue.


More than 21 million iPhone users are buying PokeCoins from Apple’s app store. If the numbers keep increasing, Apple could make $3 billion in revenue from Pokémon Go within one year or two, says The Guardian.

The Pokemon Company

The Pokemon Company, as I pointed out earlier, entered into a partnership with Niantic and Nintendo to develop Pokemon Go. Also, it participated in the $30 million series A funding. At this moment, if someone does any in-app purchase of let say $100, $30 goes to the Pokemon Go company. Thus, if Apple through in-app purchases only is expected to rake $3 billion, the Pokemon Company is going to make more than that.


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