Since its release in July 2016, there have been many attempts to re-create the success of Pokémon GO. Despite bringing some of the world's most well-known entertainment properties to bear in this quest, none have managed to touch Niantic's title—not even its own follow-up. Let's Hunt Monsters from Tencent, a China-only release, has come the closest, recently crossing $50 million in player spending on iOS according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates.
Unlike its rivals, Let's Hunt Monsters isn't based on any pre-existing property. That hasn't stopped Chinese mobile gamers from spending more than twice as much in the title than has been spent its nearest competitor, Jurassic World Alive, globally on Apple's platform.
Although it has only grossed about 4 percent of Pokémon GO's worldwide total on iOS, Let's Hunt Monsters is considerably ahead of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which launched in late June and has generated approximately $8.4 million in player spending so far outside China. That puts Tencent's title at six times the revenue of Wizards Unite from just one market.
Let's Hunt Monsters was the No. 50 ranked iOS game by player spending in China for July with an estimated $5 million made. This was about 43 percent more than Wizards Unite grossed globally last month on the App Store.
China's mobile gamers are clearly hungry for location-based AR gaming and Let's Hunt Monsters is their first real taste of the genre from a major publisher. Pokémon GO is expected to eventually launch in the Chinese market through a partnership with Tencent rival NetEase, but concrete plans have yet to emerge. A likely contributor to the delay is the western version's reliance on Google Maps, which is banned in the country. This leaves the door open—at least temporarily—for competitors who can partner with Chinese publishers and data providers to capitalize on this demand.