A combination of two live events, players with vacation time, and increased holiday spending led to a surge in U.S. revenue for Niantic's Pokémon GO during the final days of 2016. Saturday, December 31 was the game's best single day in terms of domestic gross revenue since July 18 at approximately $4.9 million spent in-app by players. Additionally, the week of December 26 was the game's highest grossing in the U.S. since mid-July at approximately $22.1 million spent, an increase of about 26 percent over the week of October 24, when Niantic launched its first live event in-game and more than $17.6 million was spent in the app.
The above chart illustrates the effect of the post-Christmas week on the game's revenue as compared to the aforementioned Halloween live event, as well as the "thanks giving" event held by Niantic during Thanksgiving week 2016 and the introduction of a limited number of Gen 2 pokémon in early December. The smaller-than-hoped rollout of new monsters was reflected in the (relatively) modest revenue increase.
To put the final week of 2016 into further perspective with regard to Pokémon GO, the game was also the No. 1 grossing app in the U.S. for the duration of the week, leading Supercell's Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, which ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
While we've been talking about an IP partially owned by Nintendo, what of its wholly-owned Super Mario Run? Despite remaining on top of the App Store's most downloaded apps chart in the U.S. throughout the holidays, and surpassing $20 million in worldwide gross revenue during its debut weekend, the game has since dropped out of the U.S. App Store's top 20 grossing apps, as seen in the chart below.
As we anticipated when we built our initial revenue forecast for the game, it didn't spend long among the top grossing apps on the store, but consumer apprehension towards its $9.99 full game price tag has proven to be much greater than most analysts—ourselves included—anticipated, placing its conversion rate at less than 9 percent worldwide.
We'll continue to analyze the performance of both of these massive 2016 releases as 2017 progresses.
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