Top 25 Public Games Companies Earned $50 Billion in H1 2018; Growth Rate Lowest in Four Years

China-Focused Companies Feel the Effects of the Country’s Game License Freeze

Despite recent policy changes in China, Tencent remains the undisputed number one in the top 25. However, the Chinese company’s Q2 earnings marked the first time in more than five years that it did not report double-digit year-on-year growth. Still, H1 revenues increased +20% year on year to $10.2 billion, driven by a strong first quarter. Tencent’s Q2 revenues increased +7% year on year, compared to +33% year-on-year growth for Q1. The challenging regulatory environment in China prevented Tencent from publishing and monetizing new games, including the popular PUBG Mobile.

Console Publishers Exceed Expectations, Partially Offsetting Mobile’s Reduced Growth

It was an incredible first half of the year for most console publishers, especially for the platform holders. Sony (#2), Microsoft (#4), and Nintendo (#9) all reported more than +20% growth year on year. Together, the three companies accounted for $10.8 billion in console revenues. Digital revenues, which include subscriptions to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live, were an important growth driver. Nintendo’s efforts to grow its digital revenues are slowly but surely bringing results, representing 24% of its half-year revenues.

Mobile Market Presents Challenges for Many Publishers

Slower mobile game revenue growth directly impacted app store owners Apple (#3) and Google (#7), which grew +18% and +15% year on year, respectively. North America and Japan were major revenue drivers for Google. For Apple and Google alike, non-game app revenues grew faster than mobile game revenues in H1 2018.

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