As much as making your game stand out depends on creativity and artistic vision, ensuring it has healthy financial prospects demands data. Learning lessons from other games that have seen the most success historically, as well as the biggest games of today, is essential to giving your own title the best chance for long-term profitability. With that need in mind, we put together this guide to the most successful mobile games across four leading metrics.
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What Are the Top-Grossing Mobile Game Genres?
Genre is the most decisive factor in what mobile game players choose to play, even moreso than word-of-mouth from friends and family. But even if a player is only interested in, for example, testing their strategic might, the dizzying breadth of mobile games available means there will be fierce competition for which strategy game that player decides to spend their time (and disposable income) on.
Data.ai’s latest State of Mobile report breaks down mobile game revenue by genre through 2021, as well as which games took the top spot in each category. While three different subgenres of RPG made the top 10, strategy games only needed one subgenre to claim the top spot overall. Also of interest is the fact that even the most popular category of casino games still fell well short of earning its way into the top three.
Top-Grossing Mobile Game Genres and Their Highest Earners
- Strategy — 4X March-Battle: $9.7 billion
- Top earner: Rise of Kingdoms (Lilith Games)
- RPG — MMORPG: $8.4 billion
- Top earner: Lineage M (NCSOFT)
- RPG — Team Battle: $8.02 billion
- Top earner: Fate/Grand Order (Aniplex)
- Casino — Slots: $5.57 billion
- Top earner: Slotomania (Playtika)
- Match — M3-Meta: $3.92 billion
- Top earner: Homescapes (Playrix)
- Shooting — Battle Royale: $3.63 billion
- PUBG Mobile (Tencent Games)
- Match — M3 Saga: $2.82 billion
- Top earner: Candy Crush Saga (King.com)
- RPG — Puzzle RPG: $2.25 billion
- Top earner: Monster Strike (mixi, XFLAG)
- Sports — Simulation Sports: $2.18 billion
- Top earner: Professional Baseball Spirits A (Konami)
- Simulation — Creative Sandbox: $2.15 billion
- Top earner: ROBLOX (Roblox Corporation)
Generating reliable revenue over time isn’t a one-and-done solution for any game, regardless of genre. Setting the right IAP prices is a continuous balancing act that requires attending to numerous factors, from individual user profile to regional economies to fluctuating currencies and everything in between. If you’d like to learn more about how to make sure your IAP is always operating at its full potential, check out our Complete Guide to In-App Purchase Pricing.
What Are the Top-Grossing Mobile Game Genres?
While mobile games have changed the shape of video gaming as a whole in the last decade, mobile games themselves have also changed quite a bit too. Mobile game publishers looking toward what’s next should consider what has worked so far by taking a close look at the mobile game revenue statistics of top-grossing titles.
Fortunately, Pocket Gamer partnered with Sensor Tower to assemble the following list of the highest-grossing mobile games of all time, providing invaluable insight into the history of the medium. Before we get into the figures, there are two important things to note: Sensor Tower’s data only goes back to January 1, 2014, so any revenue collected by mobile games before then is not counted; and since these figures are cumulative, games that have been out for longer will naturally have an advantage.
Top-grossing mobile games since January 1, 2014
- Honor of Kings / Arena of Valor (Tencent Games): $12.1 billion grossed since release on November 26, 2015
- Monster Strike (mixi, XFLAG): $9.9 billion grossed since January 1, 2014 (initial release August 8, 2013)
- PUBG Mobile (Tencent Games): $8.4 million grossed since release on March 19, 2018
- Clash of Clans (Supercell): $8.3 billion grossed since January 1, 2014 (initial release August 2, 2012)
- Candy Crush Saga (King.com): $7.5 billion grossed since January 1, 2014 (initial release April 12, 2012)
- Puzzle & Dragons (GungHo Online, Nintendo): $6.2 billion grossed since January 1, 2014 (initial release February 20, 2012)
- Fate/Grand Order (Aniplex): $6.2 billion grossed since release on July 29, 2015
- Pokémon GO (Niantic, Inc.): $6.1 billion grossed since release on July 6, 2016
- Fantasy Westward Journey (NetEase Games): $5.3 billion grossed since release on March 26, 2015
- Roblox (Roblox Corporation): $4.3 billion grossed since January 1, 2014 (initial release September 1, 2006)
What Are the Top Mobile Games by Monthly Revenue?
Just as important as looking at the historical picture of all-time revenue is looking at what mobile games are generating big revenues right now. To that end, we’re also featuring these US mobile game revenue figures collected by Statista for the month of June 2022. The results are broken out between iPhone and Android, showing once again that players across the two mobile operating systems have fairly distinct tastes.
Leading iPhone games by monthly revenue for June 2022
- Candy Crush Saga: $8.5 million
- Pokémon GO: $7.5 million
- Roblox: $5.8 million
- Royal Match: $4.1 million
- Clash of Clans: $3.6 million
- Evony: $3.1 million
- Coin Master: $2.9 million
- Homescapes: $2.7 million
- Diablo Immortal: $2.7 million
- Call of Duty: Mobile: $2.5 million
Leading Android games by monthly revenue for June 2022
- Candy Crush Saga: $14.3 million
- Diablo Immortal: $9.9 million
- DRAGON BALL LEGENDS: $8 million
- Artery Gear: Fusion: $7.9 million
- Coin Master: $7 million
- Evony: $5.4 million
- CounterSide: $4.8 million
- Roblox: $4.4 million
- Bingo Blitz – Bingo Games: $4 million
- Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds: $3.9 milion
What Are the Top Mobile Games by Downloads?
Just as essential as breaking out mobile game revenue by genre or any other earnings-centric statistic is how many users have downloaded the app. Simply getting game into people’s hands can be one of the greatest challenges for mobile game publishers, and a download today could lead to a converted customer tomorrow. Therefore, we’d be remiss to end this roundup of mobile games revenue statistics without including the most-downloaded games as well, thanks to Statista’s accounting of U.S. 2021 figures.
Most-downloaded mobile games in the US in 2021
- Roblox: 42 million downloads
- Project Makeover: 33 million downloads
- Among Us: 32 million downloads
- Subway Surfers: 31 million downloads
- Bridge Race: 26 million downloads
- High Heels!: 25 million downloads
- Magic Tiles 3: 23 million downloads
- Wordscapes: 22.7 million downloads
- Paper Fold: 21 million downloads
- Call of Duty Mobile: 20 million downloads
Make More With What You Already Have Through Intelligently Optimized IAP Pricing
Maximizing your game’s potential is an ongoing challenge with many moving parts, but there is a way to give yourself an advantage. Working with wappier means unlocking intelligent IAP pricing tech for your game, putting to work both automated algorithms coupled with human insight that will help you understand your players’ willingness to purchase and bolster their lifetime spend. Ready to learn more about how wappier can help optimize your mobile game revenue? Contact us today.