The Top 10 Public Game Companies Generated $126 Billion in 2021 as Subscriptions and M&A Shake up the Market

Tencent Remains the #1 Games Company by Revenues by a Huge Margin

Tencent’s game revenues grew +9.9% year on year to $32.2 billion in 2021. The Chinese tech giant’s gaming growth was again driven by its key live-service franchises.

  • At home in China, mobile MOBA Honor of Kings — one of the world’s biggest games by engagement and revenues — drove revenue growth.
  • On the international front, a new Clash Royale update saw impressive engagement and revenue jumps for the title.
  • League of Legends also benefitted from cross-promotion via the Netflix show Arcane, which is based on the game’s characters and lore. The show’s success makes it a strong test case for the growing transmedia trend. Learn more about that in our 2022 gaming trends article here.

Console: Xbox Game Pass Gives Microsoft Healthy Growth as the Other Platform Holders Face Challenges

Sony (#2) and Nintendo (#8) suffered the most from the pandemic-caused delays on console.

  • The release of the PlayStation 5 and accompanying first-party software like Spider-Man Miles Morales.
  • Highly anticipated first-party software on older hardware, like The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima for PlayStation, and the cultural zeitgeist that was Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo.
  • A general boost in consumer interest and spending on consoles, resulting from 2020’s pandemic-related stay-at-home orders.

Mobile: SEA Limited Enjoyed Skyrocketing Revenues Last Year, But Big Challenges Are on the Horizon

The mobile games market grew +12.5% year on year in 2021. Of course, this rise also helped mobile’s two biggest platform holders grow their 2021 games revenues, +17.7% year on year for #3 Apple and +20.8% for #5 Google. Both these companies take a 30% cut of all game purchases via their respective app stores.

The Market’s Biggest Acquisitions Would Change the Top 10 Significantly

Q1 2022 saw two of gaming’s biggest-ever public-company acquisitions. Take-Two is in the process of acquiring Zynga, while Microsoft is doing the same for Activision Blizzard.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Newzoo

Newzoo

Founded in 2007, we are the leading global provider of games and esports analytics. Amsterdam | San Francisco | Shanghai. Drop by www.newzoo.com to learn more!