/The Games of Fortune

The Games of Fortune

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Revenue from games could surpass the USD 100 billion milestone sooner than previously thought!

Games economy is becoming bigger and bigger with each passing year. Out of the top ten most grossing mobile publishers in 2017, eight were game-related, according to a report from market intelligence firm Sensor Tower. There are more than 10 mobile games which have raked more than a billion dollar each in revenue since their launch and many of them are still going strong even as new challengers keep coming up.

How games are cornering the App economy can be gauged from the fact that games contributed more than 82 percent of all app spent globally. The total app revenue was USD 58.6 billion while spending on mobile games USD 48.3 billion. The spending has been increasing at the rate of more than 30% year on year for last five years. The growth estimates are being revised almost on quarterly basis. Some forecasters are already predicting it to become a USD 100 billion revenue generator by 2020. And estimates do not look farfetched.

The top grossing title worldwide on both Apple App Store and Google Play was Mixi Inc’s Monster Strike followed closely by ‘Honor of Kings’ developed by Tencent. Mixi Inc is nearly an addiction in Japan where it was the most popular game in 2016.

Other top titles include Aniplex’s (Owned by Sony) Fate/Grand Order, Supercell’s (Finnish Supercell is now a subsidiary of Tencent) Clash Royale, and UK based King’s Candy Crush Saga.

Tencent Holdings which owns top gaming companies like Supercell saw its revenue shoot up in 2017, thanks largely to its revenue from games. A company which has full backing of the Chinese government still managed to scare it away with its blockbuster “Honor of Kings”. For its addictiveness, this game has been dubbed as a “Drug” by the Chinese government and it forced Tencent to agree to per day playing time limit for players aged under 18.

In 2017, Tencent’s profit jumped 61% to reach USD 3.7 billion largely on the strength of its mobile gaming business surge.

“Warnings that Tencent, Asia’s highest valued tech company, might suffer a rare poor quarter of business proved unwarranted after the company smashed analyst expectations for its latest earnings, thanks to its fast-growing mobile games business,” observed an article in TechCrunch. It also observed that “Tencent has historically done well in the games space with the PC its cash cow, but last year its smartphone games business overtook that of PC based on revenue. The gap is now becoming noticeable and there’s plenty of scope for it to increase further.”

game publisher

The US remains the biggest mobile games market. Last year, mobile games earned USD 10.7 billion, up 25.6 percent year-over-year and accounting for 74 percent of total app spend in the country. Tencent launched its multiplayer online battle arena Arena of Valor in North America and Europe in December 2017, a mobile juggernaut that attracts over 80 million daily active users.

In terms of number, the Asia Pacific region is surely the largest hooked corner on our planet. Japanese, Chinese and Koreans have become addictive to online games.

The Billion Dollar Club

10 mobile games title that have made more than USD 1 billion since their launch

Candy Crush Saga

Developer: King

Candy Crush Saga

Well, this has to be one game which everyone heard of – even if you are not a game aficionado. It’s been a phenomena, probably the first game to have crossed a trillion games played mark since its  launch on Facebook in 2012.

Clash of Clans

Developer: Supercell

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans was released six years ago and remains one of the highest grossing games till date. And to top it, it’s estimated to be earning more than a billion each year.

Pokemon GO

Developer: Niantic

Pokemon GO

In just seven months after release on July 6th, 2016, its revenue surpassed the magical billion dollar mark! The title has been a phenomenon. Pokemon GO is still going strong.

Clash Royale

Developer: Supercell

Clash Royale

Released on March 2nd, 2016, it crossed one billion dollar mark in less than a year. The MOBA/card battler revolutionised how mobile games can monetise, thanks to its innovative four chest system.

Summoners War

Developer: Com2Us

Summoners War

Released in 2014, the title has maintained its popularity. It is one of the few games developed in South Korea which gained worldwide popularity.

Mobile Strike

Developer: MZ

Mobile Strike

Released in 2015, with animated Arnold Schwarzenegger as a commander, Mobile Strike remains a popular download in the USA.

Honor of Kings (Arena of Valor)

Developer: Tencent

Arena of Valor

Released on November 26th, 2015, Honor of Kings is just about the biggest game in terms of popularity and revenue. It was found so addictive that Chinese government forced Tencent to limit per day time played on it for players under the age of 18. At its peak hour, the game is estimated to time touch 70 million daily active user. The title is known as Arena of Valor in the West and Penta Storm in South Korea.

Monster Strike

Developer: Mixi

Monster Strike

Following quickly on from Puzzle & Dragons, Mixi’s Monster Strike became Japan’s number one top grosser in 2014 and has continued to generate millions of dollars a day since. In August 2015, it was reported the game was earning some USD 4.2 million a day.

Game of War: Fire Age

Developer: MZ

Game of War

Game of War: Fire Age is a freemium mobile massively multiplayer online strategy video game developed and published in 2013 by Machine Zone (now known as MZ). The game had a high profile advertising campaign and was one of the top-grossing apps in 2014 and 2015.

Angry Birds

Developer: Chillingo, Rovio

Angry Birds

Entertainment First released December 11, 2009, Angry Birds which was renamed Angry Birds Classic, is a casual puzzle video game developed by Rovio Entertainment. It was slow to capitalize but after moving into freemium space, it is estimated to have crossed one billion in revenue.

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Shelley Vishwajeet is Editor, My Mobile. He has previously worked at senior positions with Business India, 21st Century Fox (Star Television Group), Indian Express Group, The Observer etc. He has also co-authored two well received books including Superbrands India. Shelley is an alumnus of Sri Ram College of Commerce and Faculty of Law, Delhi University; as well as Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

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