Pokémon Masters, the latest mobile game in the franchise by The Pokémon Company and DeNA, hit the ground running on its first week, but still not enough to match the overwhelming popularity of Pokémon Go.
According to estimates by Sensor Tower, the free-to-play Pokémon Masters earned about $26 million in its first week after launching in more than 60 countries, which is good enough for the second-best mobile launch for a Pokémon game. The title surpassed Pokémon Quest, Pokémon Magikarp Jump, and Pokémon Rumble Rush, which had first-week revenues of only $3 million, $1 million, and $300,000, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the game’s revenue was generated in Nintendo’s home country of Japan, where it earned $16 million, or about 62% of the total, followed by almost $4.5 million, or about 17%, from the United States. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and France rounded out the top five markets. Sensor Tower added that 72% of the revenue came from iOS devices, with Android devices making up the remaining 28%.
Pokémon Masters, however, did not even come close to the revenue of Pokémon Go during its first seven days. The game earned $56 million even though it initially launched in only Australia, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the United States.
There are two main reasons for the initial success of Pokémon Masters, according to Forbes’ Paul Tassi. The first is the effort that DeNA put into the game’s development, which can be seen in the animations, story, and battle system. The second and more important factor is the title’s monetization model, which works very similar to Fire Emblem Heroes in that it offers players the option to spend money to recruit powerful trainers. At $26 million in its first week, it looks like a significant number of players made the choice of spending real-world cash on microtransactions to power up their teams.
Pokémon Go remains popular to this day, and with Pokémon Masters joining the fray, fans of the series have a multitude of video game options for their daily commute. Nintendo is also set to release Pokémon Sword and Shield on November 15 alongside a special edition of the Nintendo Switch Lite, for a more complete collecting and battling experience.