Pokemon Go has enjoyed an incredibly successful 2018 and the game’s popularity shows no signs of slowing.
In addition to critical acclaim, the multiplayer game has earned commercial success, in part thanks to Pokemon Go developer Niantic’s strategy of drip-feeding a steady rollout of fresh content.
So although Pokemon Go is free to download, the aggregate of in-app payments have added up, earning Niantic a fortune in the process.
Pokemon Go reportedly made an estimated £625million ($795million) in revenue worldwide last year.
This represents a 35 percent jump in revenue over its first full year.
American players ploughed the most cash into Pokemon Go in 2018, sinking roughly £206 million ($262million) in the augmented-reality game over the last 12 months.
And Japanese players were unsurprisingly following close behind, spending approximately £188million ($239million).
The amount spent daily in Pokemon Go was also well up over 2018, with Pokemon Go raising an average of about £1.7million ($2.2million) per day for Niantic.
And Pokemon Go players also splashed more than £59million ($75million) on the game in the month leading up to Christmas.
These amazing numbers are primarily due to Niantic’s strategy of a regular succession of new Pokemon, plus live events and exciting features.
Niantic introduced the Community Days earlier last year, providing players with the paid-for opportunity to catch Pokemon and learn exclusive moves for a limited period each month.
Niantic additionally implemented a whole host of new features in the game.
These included the eagerly-anticipated friends list and trading, while PvP trainer battles – featuring the ability to fight friends in real life – launched only last month.
And the fan-favourite Adventure Sync, tracking distance travelled even when idle, also appeared last year.
Pokemon Go’s latest addition is the Adventure Sync Hatchathon.
The Pokemon Go Adventure Sync Hatchathon is available until January 15 and allow players to earn double the normal amount of Stardust and Candy for hatching Eggs.
The January Community Day is about to take place and will star the Gen 2 starter Totodile.
READ MORE: Pokemon Go: How to catch Lugia and Ho-Oh?
Niantic’s $1million developer contest:
Niantic last December announced the Beyond Reality Developer Contest, promising a prize to win a portion of a $1million pool.
Niantic’s contest challenges teams to build “an impactful geospatial AR play experience with the Niantic Real World Platform“.
Application phase sees Niantic will select ten teams with the best technical background, programming proficiency and all-round skills.
And the later Development phase will provide ten team with access to the Niantic Real World Platform.
Finalists will work for a three-month period, with the goal of showing off their incredible work at a Demo Day in San Francisco.