The COVID-19 drove a surge in demand for mobile games, and although the pandemic restrictions are easing up, the entire market shows no signs of slowing down.
Users worldwide downloaded 30% more gaming apps in the first quarter of 2021 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels and spent a record-breaking $1.7bn per week on mobile games. As a result, some of the world's most popular mobile games saw their revenue reaching all-time highs.
According to data presented by MejoresApuestas.com, the world's five top-grossing mobile games hit nearly $3bn in revenue in the first half of 2021.
Tencent Still on Throne; PUBG Mobile and Honors of Kings Hit Nearly $1.5B in Revenue
As the world's most popular mobile game by monthly active users, Tencent's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds tops the list of the highest-earning mobile games in 2021. Between January and June, PUBG Mobile players spent $832 million on in-app purchases, following the games' record-breaking profits from last year.
With $2.6bn in revenue across the Apple App Store and Google Play, PUBG mobile was the world's top-grossing gaming app in 2020. Almost 60% of that value came from China. The United States and Saudi Arabia followed with a 10% and 5% revenue share, respectively. Statistics show the multiplayer battle royale game was also Tencent's most downloaded mobile gaming title, reaching 223.3 million downloads last year.
Honor of Kings ranked as the second most profitable mobile game with $664 million in player spending in the first half of 2021. Last year, Tencent's MOBA megahit generated $2.5bn in revenue and hit close to 25 million downloads, ranking as the second most profitable gaming app worldwide.
Genshin Impact, Roblox, and Pokémon GO round the top five list, with $576 million, $467 million, and $447 million in revenue in the first half of 2021, respectively.
Mobile Games to Generate Nearly $110B in Revenue this Year
The surge in revenues of the world's most popular gaming apps is the best proof of how fast the entire mobile games industry is growing. In 2021, the global mobile gaming revenues are expected to grow by 15% YoY to nearly $110bn. That is $34bn more compared to pre-COVID-19 figures.
Nearly 60% of that value, or $62bn, will be generated in China and the United States as the two leading markets.
Also, the number of people playing mobile games worldwide is forecast to touch 1.8 billion in 2021, compared to 1.3 billion two years ago.
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