“Pokémon Go’s” resurgence is likely due to two new social features introduced at the end of June — Pokémon trading and friendships. Since then, more than 113 million people have made friends in-game, Niantic said, and more than 2.2 billion gifts have been exchanged.
“While the headlines are filled with examples of technology being used to divide us, our experiences this summer deepen our conviction that technology can be harnessed to enhance our lives in a positive way and bring us all closer together and strengthen our connection with the communities where we live and play,” said Niantic CEO John Hanke.
“Pokémon Go” celebrated its second anniversary in July. The game has earned $1.8 billion in revenue since launch, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. Players spend about $2 million each day, with the majority of that money coming from the U.S. and Japan.
Niantic said it’s “working on some surprises for ‘Pokémon Go’ this fall to give Trainers even more ways to play together.” This could be a reference to the game’s rumored player vs. player mode. Last month, Niantic’s head of marketing for the EMEA region, Anne Beuttenmüller, reportedly told a Polish publication the feature will appear toward the end of 2018.
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Additionally, Niantic reiterated that it’s celebrating the six year anniversary of the location-based mobile app “Ingress” with the launch of an updated version called “Ingress Prime.” It will reveal more details about that game closer to launch. Hanke previously told Variety that “Prime” and an “Ingress” animated show will likely released around October.