Mobile game

Honor of Kings is the first mobile game to generate $ 10 billion | Pocket Gamer.biz

The idea for the first $ 10 billion mobile game originated – at least in my mind – in the summer of 2015 during a talk by N3twork CEO Neil Young at the Develop conference in Brighton.

The first wave of $ 1 billion mobile games had just been announced – Puzzle & Dragons, Clash of Clans etc – so it made sense to discuss the next revenue milestone.

The main crux of this discussion revolved around whether the first $ 10 billion mobile game – what amount of money that seemed like at the time – would be a game already released or a future release.

In fact, both were true, in a way.

The first mobile game to reach $ 10 billion in lifetime revenue is Tencent’s Honor of Kings, actually a mobile version of League of Legends only in China.

Released in November 2015 – so technically at the time I was first thinking of a future release – Honor of Kings was also released internationally as the Arena of Valor in October 2016.

But this version failed to gain much traction, at least in terms of revenue.

But not very far behind Mixi’s Monster Strike, a title released in 2013, and like Honor of Kings, a game that has only been successful in its home market, in this case Japan.

Indeed, despite Mixi’s best attempts, Monster Strike was launched internationally, supported by large-scale marketing, and failed utterly. International versions of the game were eventually removed from the app stores.

Bigger, bigger

Against this background, the obvious conclusion to be drawn is that the most lucrative mobile games are those that dominate their home markets and manage to do so for years.

That’s not to say that games like Clash of Clans, which are generally successful everywhere, will never reach $ 10 billion in revenue in their lifetime.

Released in 2012, it is currently around the $ 8 billion mark, just like Puzzle & Dragons, which also released in 2012, and Monster Strike only found success in Japan.

Pokemon Go, Candy Crush Saga, and PUBG Mobile (including its Chinese version Game for Peace) are pretty close behind.

But as symbolic as the figure sounds, the prosaic truth is that given the size of the mobile gaming market – roughly $ 120 billion a year – a game that accumulates $ 10 billion in lifetime revenue is actually a lot. less interesting than it seems at first glance.

Many mobile games can now generate over $ 1 billion per year, so their $ 10 billion roadmap is purely a matter of calculation.

Indeed, Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile made over $ 250 million in August 2021 alone.

Perhaps more important now would be to ask, what will be the first mobile game to make $ 1 billion in a single month or $ 10 billion in revenue in a single year?

It’s probably closer than you think.


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