Pokémon Go developer Niantic has announced that 65 million users are still playing its mobile sensation each month. Niantic CEO John Hanke confirmed the staggering figure – which, for context, is roughly the same total as UK population estimates – in a panel interview at the London Games Festival.
The iOS and Android app, which combines location tracking and augmented reality features to bring Nintendo's iconic creatures, achieved unprecedented levels of success following its launch in the US and UK in July 2016.
Within less than a month, Pokémon Go boasted 100 million downloads and by January 2017 had broken through the $1bn gross revenue threshold (via in-app purchases) faster than any other mobile game in history. At its peak, 1.7 million active daily users hunted wild pocket monsters in the UK.
While those numbers have inevitably dropped over time, Hanke's announcement sits in stark contrast to reports ringing a premature death knell for the app based on user data from the US.
According to data from ComScore, around 80% of US 'trainers' have quit the game as of December 2016, with a daily active user peak of 28.5 million on 13 July falling to below 5 million by the end of the year.
Judging by Hanke's statement, however, there are evidently many Poké-hunters in other regions still willing to brave the outdoors in the pursuit of a full Pokédex. After an initial release in Japan, closely followed by Europe and the US, Pokémon Go has since made its way to over 100 countries.
Due in no small part to its global expansion, Niantic revealed, in December 2016, that players had caught 88 billion Pokémon and collectively walked far enough to lap the Earth more than 200,000 times.
Niantic has continued to support Pokémon Go by offering seasonal events, feature updates, and most recently the addition of 80 new Pokémon originally featured in the second generation of Nintendo's main video game series.