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Market Insight

Top-grossing mobile games publishers for July 2019

August 13, 2019

Louise Shorthouse, Ph.D. Louise Shorthouse, Ph.D. Research Analyst I - Games & Apps, IHS Markit

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Battle royale titles drive revenue for Tencent

Tencent maintains its dominance as the highest-grossing mobile games publisher according to Priori Data, with $256.8m in net revenue for July. The international version of PUBG Mobile represented $61.9m of this, demonstrating the benefits of Tencent’s recent push into overseas markets following the freeze on games approvals in China. In fact, PUBG Mobile is on track for its strongest quarter yet: narrowly outperforming King’s Candy Crush Saga for the month of July.

Game for Peace, the China-approved equivalent of PUBG, generated $26.9m in net revenue, and was the publisher’s second best-performing domestic title behind Honor of Kings.

Chinese competitor NetEase saw negative growth across its portfolio, with significant domestic titles Fantasy Westward Journey and Onmyoji declining by 6.8% and 34.7% respectively versus the previous month. Battle royale game Knives Out, which typically performs extremely well in Japan, also suffered.

 Dokkan Battle overseas surge boosts Bandai Namco into second place

In-game events triggered tremendous July growth for Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, following a general decline in the second quarter. A series of 4th anniversary challenges saw net revenues for the international version of the title increase month-over-month by 799% on Google Play, and 554% on Apple App Store. Growth was comparatively modest for the Japanese version, at an average of 90% across app stores. Downloads were also up considerably.

This is another example of Asian publishers successfully expanding into Western markets, typically through globally-recognised IPs – a key part of Tencent’s strategy. Unusually, though, Bandai Namco’s Western Dokkan Battle title is out-performing the domestic offering. For July, Dokkan Battle represented just over half of the publisher’s net revenue at $54.6m, with the remaining $49.5m derived from host of slow-burning Japanese titles.

Wizards Unite makes modest contribution to Niantic’s consistent performance

Niantic generated $49.7m in net revenue for July, and 92% of this – or $45.9m – came from Pokémon GO, which is still going strong into its fourth year. Wizards Unite, which launched globally in mid-June, could only account for 7.5% of Niantic’s net revenue.

Though there is still room for the game’s user-base to grow, its performance is disappointing for Niantic who, like many other mobile games companies, has invested heavily in a niche genre. Whilst Pokémon GO’s robust performance is unlikely to falter any time soon, the publisher may need to consider expanding its catalogue moving forward.

European publishers boast increasingly strong portfolios

Finnish company Supercell and Swedish giant King have long been amongst the top-grossing publishers, each with numerous high-grossing offerings, but relative newcomer Playrix is now helping to build the European presence on the global mobile games stage. Due to the popularity of its social tile-matching games Gardenscapes and Homescapes, which have also attracted considerable player-bases in China and Japan, Playrix has seen growth of 20.7% year-on-year. Upcoming title Wildscapes will seek to add to the publisher’s existing success.

Geography
Global
Research by Market
Media & Advertising
Category
Games
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