General Question

LuckyGuy's avatar

How does PokemonGo generate money for the company?

Asked by LuckyGuy (38462points) July 16th, 2016

They say it is earning $2M per day.
Do people pay for it? Do they pay for the app.? Why would anyone pay for any of it?

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24 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar


I have no idea why people are willing to pay for PokemonGo virtual consumables. Beanie Babies were pretty popular once too, and Treasure Trolls before them. I suspect it’s firing the same neurons for people who are into that kind of thing.

LuckyGuy's avatar

But what are customers buying?

Seek's avatar

People can buy PokeCoins, which is in-game money which can be used to buy PokeBalls (to catch creatures), lures (to attract creatures to anyone at a given location), incense (to attract creates to you wherever you are), potions (to heal or revive creatures after battle), berries (to tame hard to catch creatures), lucky eggs (which give an EXP boost for 30 minutes, and ways to increase the number of Pokemon you can carry.

ragingloli's avatar

the same way that any free-to-play game makes money: microtransactions.
People would find it inconceivable how much money i spent on starships and keys for lockboxes in Star Trek Online.

imrainmaker's avatar

Here is a link that explains how microtransactions have ruined some popular games..

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s just like the sales model pioneered by Gillette a century ago – give them the razor, sell them the blades.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Microtrangressions indeed.

I’m a little annoyed that the article regarding microtransactions did not include the amazing, now EA title, Real Racing for smartphones. I’ve already done my rant regarding this product. I will mention again that had I not asset hacked the game completing it would have cost at least $550, More than enough to buy a set of racing tires for my real race car.

Pokemon Go. I’m not the least bit surprised it is employing the microtransaction model.

I strongly suggest as an alternative. This game has existed for 4 years. It is infinitely more sophisticated, challenging, mature and completely charge and ad free.

Unlike the PoGo interlopers. We Ingress Agents have been discreetly operating among you everywhere for years now (yes, where you work, shop and play) saving the world from Exotic Matter falling into the wrong hands.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I think it’s worth noting that both Pokemon Go and Ingress are developed by the same company, Niantic. That company being a subsidiary of Google, who love nothing more than collecting any and all data they can, including your physical location at any given moment. So there’s that.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I had a feeling the next post would be about this fact.

I guess No good thing should go unmonetized.

Indeed, Ingress was created ultimately for the purpose of data gathering, but the sheer quality of the game on all levels forgives many sins in my opinion.

My initial impression of PoGo was confirmed just two days ago, when some douche in a new Camaro stopped on the street in front of my dog park yelling the question out loud “Pokemon? POKEMON??

This is not how it’s supposed to work.

In my comment above I used the word “discreetly.”

Fucking trendsters…

Oh HERE we go. Preach it to me Loli…

ragingloli's avatar

Listen, either you pay for the game, whether it is up front, or through micro transactions, or you will be bombarded with advertisements, or your personal data/metadata sold to third parties.
I do not regret buying all those space ships.

Darth_Algar's avatar


The game is going to come at a cost of some kind. Personally speaking I prefer a monetized transaction. That, at least, is upfront and honest.

Seek's avatar

Ingress was boring. Leave the house, go places I don’t care about, to put a green spot on the blue spot. BFD.

Pokemon is engaging, interesting, and leads to conversations beyond “Enlightened or Resistance?”

Yes, a few idiots play. Get a big enough crowd and you’ll find idiots anywhere.

Pokemon has been an entertainment franchise for nearly 20 years. Ingress can’t compete.

ragingloli's avatar

smoke plays it, so it must be superior.~

SecondHandStoke's avatar


I reread the Ingress TOS. I does not in any way state that it will provide social skills employable IRL. Sorry.


LuckyGuy's avatar

How much money are people spending? What does a typical microtransaction cost? .

Seek's avatar

100 Poke Coins is $0.99
That will get you 20 Pokeballs. 14,500 will run you $99.00

There are of course increments in between. 550 for $4.99, etc.

Seek's avatar

I’ve spent nothing, so far. I have a personal rule against spending real money for imaginary items.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Seek “I’ve spent nothing, so far. I have a personal rule against spending real money for imaginary items.”

I’m flexible on that rule. If it’s something that will amuse me and enhance my enjoyment of that game I might spend money on it. I’ve dropped money in Little Big Planet for costumes and such, for example. I’ve also purchased plenty of expansion packs over the years. I will not, however, spend real money on in-game currency (ala GTA Online) or for items that I can already earn in-game.

Seek's avatar

@Darth – exactly. So far I’ve thrown away more Pokémon Go items than I’ve used, to make room for more Pokeballs.

If you’re not within reasonable driving distance of several PokeStops, I can see buying items, but I’ve not found it hard to stock up plenty without getting my credit card involved.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Seek I don’t like giving anyone my credit card info and really try to limit its exposure. There is no way I would expose my info for something as frivolous as a game. I guess I’m just a boring guy. I was in the park yesterday and saw several groups walking around all looking at their phones. I was on a blanket half in the sun and half out just relaxing and eventually taking a nap. I followed it up with an ice cream sundae. It was a good day.
No pokemon were harmed.

Seek's avatar

Took my kid to the beach tonight. We met with a few other homeschooling families. Everyone played in the water and sun, and later in the rain. And I caught a Tentacool and a Magnemite and a few other minor ‘Mon. Good craic had by all.

2davidc8's avatar

Great explanation, @Seek!! Thank you.

2davidc8's avatar

I totally agree with you, @LuckyGuy.

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