One game can make the difference for a game developer. For Niantic that game is Pokemon Go.
John Hanke's Niantic could be already worth $10 billion. The Pokemon Go maker is now the most popular game developer world-wide according to data of market research company SimilarWeb. Niantic has pushed down Candy Crush maker King. Everything happened for Niantic just within one month.
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The company became the top game app developer in 45 countries, a long list which includes countries where the app wasn’t even available in July. Compare the Top App Developer map in July and with the map before Pokemon Go happened. As reported earlier, Pokemon Go did not have an big impact on the revenue of the existing apps. The game added its own market on top of what was already there. Apple said that July was the App store biggest month in history in terms of paid out money to developers.
In February 2016, King was acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion and, less than half a year later, Tencent acquired app developer Supercell for $8.6 billion. "Keeping in mind that Supercell claimed less than 3 countries overall, this acquisition is especially impressive and was worth 45% more than King’s acquisition," says SimilarWeb's Joseph Schwartz.
He continues "If we use this to try and determine Niantic’s value, it could mean that the developer is worth upwards of $10 billion."
It is possibly to early to put an evaluation of $10 billion Niantic. If the company is though able to keep trainers happy and increase its user numbers into 2017, the $10 billion value is going to be a valid number.
Pokemon Go is available as of now about 80 countries world-wide. The big left out countries are China, India, Russia, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the whole continent of Africa. There is still a lot of room to grow in these untapped territories.
Niantic has been growing its staff rapidly to cope with the sudden popularity. Servers and app have improved dramatically as well as the communication with trainers. Now the company has to find ways to keep the game interesting. Advanced trainers start to get bored.
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