Call of Duty, FIFA, Fortnite…traditional video games may grab all the headlines but mobile gaming is raking in more cash than consoles and desktop combined.
In fact, 52% of all gaming revenue comes from mobile. Mobile gaming is no small business. In 2020, US$100b was spent on mobile games. Last year, the US Box Office did US$21b in total. Yep, all of Hollywood lost out to Candy Crush and co.
The most popular games are rather unknown in the Western world. Honor of Kings produced by Tencent has made US$13.3b in revenue in just 6 years. Clash of Clans and Pokemon Go have both turned over US$7.5b+ each since their releases. They’re both in the top 5 biggest mobile games of all time. Candy Crush is close behind as the 7th biggest game ever.
While Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are known by all investors, the biggest mobile game developers are relatively unknown despite operating in a bigger market. To start, mobile gaming has thousands of options available to gamers. Console gaming has a smaller selection of options.
Tencent Games is one of the biggest developers. The Chinese company generates more gaming revenue than Activision, EA and TakeTwo combined. US-listed companies like Zynga are other accessible alternatives.
Of course, in-app purchases contribute to these billion-dollar revenue figures. Apple and Google take about a 30% cut of all in-app purchases. With it comes the question of whether they have a monopoly on app distribution.
Apple and Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, have been engaged in a lengthy court battle. In August 2020, Fortnite introduced a new payment option for in-app purchases, to bypass Apple’s compulsory fee. Apple pulled their game from the App Store in retaliation. Epic Games sued. The judge ruled that Apple did not have a monopoly and while they had considerable market share, were doing nothing illegal. The judge also ruled that Apple could no longer prevent apps from directing users to other payment gateways. No concrete changes have been made yet as court proceedings drag on. In short, not much has changed.