A record five mobile games including PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings from Tencent have generated more than $1 billion in 2020 so far, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows.
PUBG Mobile, combined with the Chinese localization of the title, Game For Peace, is the No. 1 revenue-generator globally across the App Store and Google Play in 2020, accumulating close to $2.6 billion since the start of the year, up 64.3 percent from 2019. Honor of Kings, meanwhile, has picked up close to $2.5 billion in player spending, up 42.8 percent from the year prior.
Ranking in No. 3 is Pokémon GO from Niantic, which has accumulated $1.2 billion to date, up 31.5 percent from 2019, making it the game’s best year ever. The title has benefitted from a string of updates to help players continue playing amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Ranking in No. 4 is Coin Master from Moon Active, which generated $1.1 billion, a more than two-times increase from last year. The title has grown rapidly since the beginning of 2019, with its best month ever coming in November 2020, when it picked up close to $118 million. Roblox from Roblox Corporation rounds out this year’s billion-dollar games to date, with the hugely popular MMO nearly doubling its 2019 mobile revenue to $1.1 billion. Off the back of the title’s cross-platform success, the company is heading for an IPO next year.
Another that could join this year’s billion-dollar club on mobile is Monster Strike from Mixi, which has racked up $958 million so far in 2020—representing 2.8 percent growth from 2019. The title has been a global top-five grossing game since at least 2014, and is one of the world’s most lucrative mobile titles of all time.
The five one-billion-dollar mobile games in 2020 surpasses the number seen in previous years. In 2019, three titles generated more than $1 billion: Honor of Kings, PUBG Mobile and Fate/Grand Order from Sony’s Aniplex. 2018 also saw three billion-dollar titles: Honor of Kings, Monster Strike and Fate/Grand Order. During the preceding years going back to 2014, two titles hit the $1 billion milestone each year.
This year’s outsized success of the industry’s top performers comes amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, which have seen global mobile game revenue soar as people look for entertainment while at home. So far in 2020, the global mobile games market has generated $75.4 billion, which is already up 19.5 percent from 2019. While 2021 is unlikely to match this year’s extraordinary mobile games revenue growth, we expect the sector to build upon 2020’s strong performance, which could result in more billion-dollar hits by the end of next year.
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