COVID-19 has boosted demand for mobile games and although the pandemic restrictions are easing, the entire market shows no signs of slowing down. According to data presented by MejoresApuestas, the top 5 highest-grossing mobile games in the world generated approximately $3 billion in revenue in the first half of 2021.
Gamers worldwide downloaded 30% more mobile games in the first quarter of 2021 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, with mobile games hitting a record $1.7 billion per week. As a result, some of the world’s most popular mobile games have seen revenues reach all-time highs.
Tencent retains its throne
The world’s most popular mobile game by monthly active users, PUBG Mobile from Tencent is among the top-paid mobile games in 2021. Between January and June, PUBG Mobile players spent $832 million on in-app purchases, following the game record.
With $2.6 billion in revenue across the Apple App Store and Google Play, PUBG Mobile was the world’s top-grossing game in 2020. About 60% of this value came from China. This was followed by the USA and Saudi Arabia with 10% and 5% revenue share, respectively. Statistics show that the multiplayer battle royale game is also Tencent’s most downloaded mobile game title, with 223.3 million downloads last year.
Honor of Kings was the second most profitable mobile game, with player spending of $664 million in the first half of 2021. Last year, Tencent’s MOBA megahit generated $2.5 billion in revenue and had close to 25 million downloads, making it the second most profitable game worldwide.
Genshin Impact, Roblox, and Pokémon GO are in the top five with revenues of $576 million, $467 million, and $447 million respectively in the first half of 2021.
Mobile games will generate around $110 billion in revenue this year
The increase in revenues of the world’s most popular games is the best proof of how fast the entire mobile gaming industry is growing. In 2021, global mobile gaming revenues are expected to grow by 15% annually to approximately $110 billion. That’s $34 billion more than pre-COVID-19 figures. About 60% of this value, or $62 billion, will be produced in the two leading markets, China and the United States.
In addition, the number of people playing mobile games worldwide is estimated to reach 1.8 billion in 2021, from 1.3 billion two years ago.