Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pokémon Go players spent nearly $20 million this weekend, and no, we have not gone back in time

Pokémon Go players in 2016... before the coronavirus, before Trump... they’re so lucky.
Pokémon Go players in 2016... before the coronavirus, before Trump... they’re so lucky.
Photo: Mike Coppola (Getty Images)

Of all the video games you’d expect to thrive during the pandemic, you would probably guess Fortnite or Minecraft and you would be right. You would not guess Boktai, the Game Boy Advance game that required you to charge your vampire-killing gun by physically standing outside in the daylight. You also probably would not guess Pokémon Go, which already had its moment way back in 2016 and was largely based around going to public places with other human people, but you would apparently be wrong about that. The game got a “remote” mode back in May that allowed users to play it from home, and this past weekend there was a Pokémon Go Fest event that was so popular with players that—according to GamesIndustry.biz—they ended up spending a total of $17.5 million over the course of two days. On Saturday, the first day of the event, players spent $8.9 million, making it the highest single-day total for the game since the day it came out. That’s wild! That’s the kind of nonsense that happens in Grand Theft Auto Online, not Pokémon Go!

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As explained by Nintendo Life, most of that money came from the fact that you had to pay $15 to get into the event, which granted access to special multi-user raids and pocket monsters that you couldn’t get otherwise. As it turns out, though, making a ton of money isn’t really new for Pokémon Go, despite its relative age. GamesIndustry.biz says it has already made $540 million this year, bringing its lifetime revenue to nearly $3.7 billion. It just doesn’t usually make all of that money in one day. Now: Who do we talk to about rebooting Boktai?

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