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RANKED: The 15 Most Successful App Companies

Candy CrushReuters

You may recognise money-making apps like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Words With Friends, and Despicable Me: Minion Rush, but what about the makers behind these blockbusters?

App Annie ranked the top 52 app publishers of 2013, and we decided to feature the top 15 to give you an idea for who is making it big in the app stores. The companies are ranked based on their combined global revenue from Apple’s App Store and Google Play for the year of 2013.

App Annie did not disclose the exact dollar numbers, but we tried to search a bit to get you some data.

15. Caesars Entertainment

Mobile apps are only a small part of what this gaming giant does. Caesars Entertainment publishes apps that supplement the casino experience by offering tips on places and events to explore. It also creates mobile games like Bingo Blitz through its subsidiaries Buffalo Studios, Pacific Interactive, and Playtika.

Caesars Entertainment brought in more than $8.5 billion in revenue in 2013, but obviously a majority of that was probably from its physical casinos and not its apps.

14. Sega

Sega is a veteran when it comes to developing games, having been founded in 1960. Its mobile apps have followed in the success of Sega's earlier digital games with titles like Crazy Taxi and Golden Axe along with the classic Sonic games.

Sega Sammy Holdings, Sega's parent company, reported $3.7 billion in sales for the last financial year, but that's for all of its products.

13. Zynga

Zynga has come out with lots of big apps including Words With Friends, Scramble With Friends, and Draw Something, but it is struggling to maintain its status after a not-so-successful IPO.

In 2013, Zynga brought in more than $870 million in revenue, which definitely is not too shabby, but when you compare it to 2012's $US1.28 billion in revenue, it's not looking so great.

12. Storm8

San Francisco-based Storm8 develops social games for iOS and Android and claims to have more than 600 million downloads. The company was founded by Facebook alums in 2009 and has a bunch of different subsidiaries, including Team Lava, Shark Party, IceMochi, and Fire Mocha. One of its catchy games is called Fruit Splash Mania and asks you to match tiles to clear the rounds.

According to VentureBeat, Storm8 has been profitable for more than 20 quarters, and is bringing in enough money to pay 250 employees.

11. COLOPL

This Tokyo-based app maker is best known for its zombie-themed mobile games. It also publishes other puzzle and action games like Kuma's Fireworks Puzzle.

COLOPL's audience is almost exclusively Japanese, but it is still managing to bring in lots of money. In 2013, the company brought in more than $300 million in sales. And it reported $237 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2014.

10. Gameloft

Famous for its mobile game Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Gameloft is headquartered in Paris and develops games across platforms. The company has developed more than 300 apps, and it just announced a bunch of new games at E3, including Asphalt Overdrive, Spider-Man Unlimited, and Dungeon Gems.

Gameloft reported brought in $318 million in revenue in 2013, with more than 80% of its smartphone revenues coming from the sale of virtual items and advertising.

9. Kabam

This famous publisher is best known for games like Kingdoms of Camelot and The Fast & Furious 6: The Game. Kabam is based in San Fransisco and creates both mobile and web games.

As of last July, Kabam was worth $700 million. It brought in more than $360 million of revenue in 2013, and it is reportedly planning for an IPO.

8. DeNA

This Japanese gaming company has published more than 500 apps across platforms. In addition to games like Battle of God, Blood Brothers, and Peko, DeNA also publishes other apps like a Snapchat alternative called 5sec and an Instagram alternative called Cycle.

DeNA reported more than $1.7 billion in revenue for 2013 from both mobile and desktop products.

7. CJ Group

South Korean-based CJ Group does a lot of stuff besides for apps, but its main app for the movie theatre CGV along with its food and education apps bring it to this list. The CGV app lets you book movie tickets and find out tons of information about the films.

6. GREE

GREE is one of Japan's leading mobile social game developer. Its apps let you build profiles, compare scores from different games, and earn virtual currency.

And GREE is doing pretty well with these apps. In just 30 days, one of its games, Knights & Dragons, brought in more than $US5 million. And it reported a total of $370.9 million in revenue for just the third quarter of 2013.

5. Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts is known for its games across all platforms, so it should come as no surprise that it's doing pretty well on mobile as well. EA has published more than 1,000 apps across platforms.

Some of its famous games are Battleship, Boggle, and Bop It!, but it also has other apps like GameFace that let you create an avatar for other EA Sports games. In the first quarter of 2014, EA reported earnings of $914 million.

4. LINE

This Japanese publisher is famous for its flagship messaging app, which is hugely popular in Japan, China, and South Korea. In addition to its messaging app, LINE also publishes a lot of mobile games, including Cookie Run, Bubble!, and Dragon Flight.

In 2013, LINE brought in $338 million in revenue, and they're continuing to grow in revenue into 2014, taking in $143 million in revenue in the first quarter.

3. King

The Candy Crush legend has died down a bit since all the original hype but, ir'a still generating a lot of money. King generated more than $US1.9 billion in 2013, but it's not having great luck in the stock market.

To maintain its presence in the app store, King came out with some new apps, including Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. But they're kind of the same thing as Candy Crush just with new themes.

2. Supercell

The Finnish mobile game publisher is around a $3 billion company. Most famous for its game Clash of Clans, Supercell saw earnings of $US464 million on $US892 million in revenue in 2013.

Beyond Clash of Clans, Supercell has also produced Boom Beach and Hay Day, all three of which made it to our list of the 15 highest-grossing iPhone and iPad games. The three games involve strategy and creating a virtual world, be it a battlefield or a farm.

1. GungHo Online

This Japan-based publisher may not be a household name, but it has created tons of lucrative apps, including Divine Gate, Dokuro, Freak Tower, Puzzle & Dragons, and Summons Board.

In 2013, GungHo Online raked in more than $1 billion on Puzzle & Dragons alone. The app, which challenges users to match orbs of the same colour, brought in $US650 million through Apple's App Store and $US775 million through Google Play.

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