Pokémon GO Is Making More Money Than Any Other iOS App Despite Being Free

Freemium is here to stay.

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Pokémon GO, Nintendo’s mobile Pokémon outing that’s to blame for more people walking around staring at their phones than usual, quickly topped App Store charts after being released just days ago, but now it’s got a new claim to fame. Despite being a free app—and that some people *cough cough* still can’t play due to server problems—it’s making more money than anything else on Apple’s App Store right now.

That’s according to data shared with GamesBeat, which puts it ahead of games like Game of War, Clash Royale, and Clash of Clans—not to mention non-game apps that charge subscription fees, like Spotify. It’s worth mentioning that those three other money-making games also follow a similar “freemium” model to Pokémon GO, where the app is free, but bonuses within the game can be paid for in cash for players who get hooked.

That’s not to undermine GO‘s success, though, as Nintendo’s previous mobile app, Miitomo, was also freemium and failed to have much of an effect on app store standings. Clearly, leveraging their powerful brands is the way to go for Nintendo in the mobile app game. On the other hand, it’s still early yet, and it should be interesting to see whether the game keeps making money over time, which is another area in which Miitomo struggled.

Even if things taper off, this is still a success story for Nintendo, which is good news for their future mobile offerings, which we will all gladly accept with open arms (and probably wallets). If you need some more good news in your day (we all do), the game is also having another notable effect on people: It’s helping them make friends.

(via Gamasutra, image via Nintendo)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>