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Published: December 17, 2021

Written by: David Kent

  • The mobile games market has seen dramatic growth this year
  • Eight games earned more than a billion dollars in revenue each
  • A lot of this comes from Asian markets, particularly China

Despite the meme-y reputation mobile games have in online circles, they have established themselves as a profitable niche in the gaming industry, often earning more than some triple-A games.

Eight Titles Pass One Billion Dollars in Earnings

As more and more people across the globe have access to mobile technology, the mobile game market has continued growing. The niche has become well-established and quite profitable, with this year marking eight games passing $1 billion in profits each, according to data insight platform Sensor Tower.

The charts are dominated by two Tencent games – PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings, both of which won approximately $2.8 billion each. This makes sense, as the Chinese media conglomerate Tencent operates mainly in a country, where mobile games are quite popular in general. PUBG’s profits in particular are even more impressive because of the fact that the game had to go through rebranding due to Chinese regulatory laws. Despite that, PUBG still remains very popular.

PUBG’s title as champion in earnings is further defended by the record-breaking $254 million in total player spending in November this year. This is a 46% increase from the same period in November 2020. Two-thirds of this revenue came from China, showing how popular mobile gaming is there.

What Other Games Are on Top?

After PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings, third place is taken by a gatcha title, namely Genshin Impact. The game’s dynamic gameplay and impressive visuals have earned it more than $1.8 billion in revenue. The third Chinese title on the list so far was also the second-highest-grossing mobile title in November at $207 million in revenue, with about a third of it coming from China.

The fourth and fifth places are occupied by Roblox and Coin Master respectively, each earning about $1.3 billion. They have 20.3 percent and 13.8 percent year-over-year growth, respectively.

Pokémon Go is in sixth place, with more than $1.2 billion in player spending, showing it’s still a staple part of the market more than five years after its release. The list is closed by Candy Crush Saga and Garena Free Fire also continue to be massively profitable years after release, recording $1.2 and $1.1 billion in revenue, respectively.

These statistics show that the mobile game market is stable and will probably continue its rapid growth in the next years. If anything, at least they show how popular are mobile games in China.

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