Johannesburg - Fewer players of mobile gaming hit Pokémon Go are making in-app purchases since July this year, says a study.
The game - which is still not officially available in South Africa yet - was launched in July by Niantic in markets such as the US and Australia.
The app taps augmented reality to allow gamers to wander their surroundings and unlock new Pokémon characters via location tracking on their Android or Apple smartphones.
Players of the game can also spend money on PokéCoins, the in-game currency of Pokémon Go. PokéCoins can be exchanged for power-ups, extra items and other enhancements.
But the number of PokéCoin purchases have been falling dramatically, according to digital commerce measurement company Site Intelligence.
“Data reveals that Pokémon Go’s US paying population has declined by 79% since the number of in-game buyers peaked on July 15th,” said Site Intelligence in a blog post this week.
“Data indicates that Niantic’s hit introduced nearly two times as many in-game spenders to the mobile gaming market in the weeks following Pokémon GO’s launch.
“However, since then, the number of buyers in the mobile market has returned to pre-Pokémon GO levels,” said Site Intelligence.
Still an in-app, merchandise hit
Yet, despite the fall in in-app purchases, Site Intelligence said that Pokémon Go is still the world’s “most lucrative mobile game” during August.
“Pokémon GO garnered six times the revenue made by the second most profitable game in this period,” wrote Site Intelligence.
Meanwhile, online Pokémon merchandise sales have also soared following the game’s July premiere, said Site Intelligence.
“The revenue amassed from branded Pokémon toys and games was 233% larger this August compared to the same month last year,” said Site Intelligence.
“Branded apparel sales in August even outpaced last year’s Halloween season, which is when branded Pokémon apparel purchases are historically highest,” said the company.
Pokémon Go is developed and distributed by Niantic, which is a company that was spun off from Google in August 2015. Both Google and Nintendo, though, hold stakes in Niantic. Meanwhile, Nintendo owns 32% of the voting power within the Pokémon Company receives “a licensing fee and compensation for collaboration in development and operations”.