The rise of free apps supported by in-app purchases has led to a seemingly exponential growth in the number and reach of games made for Android, iPhone, and other smartphone platforms.
This year, app developers will bring in $US26 billion in revenue from app stores. In 2017, that number is expected to hit $US77 billion.
It turns out that the addicting games everyone is downloading are capturing a pretty big portion of that — the biggest players are making over $US1 billion in revenue from individual games. We looked at PocketGamer and companies’ individual financial disclosures to identify the firms that have surpassed the $US100 million revenue mark from games that people can’t get enough of.
Gameloft brought in over $US100 million in revenue in the first half of 2013 with a combination of games based on movie licenses and original games inspired by console hits like 'Grand Theft Auto' and 'Call of Duty.'
Rovio keeps cranking out successful variations of its now-classic 'Angry Birds' series, whose popularity have turned the company's iconic birds and pigs into a merchandising goldmine. It's expected to grow from last year's revenue base of $US195 million.
Disney's 'Where's My Water?' series has brought in over 240 million downloads (with an estimated revenue of $US1.66 per user) and spawned a line of merchandise, much like Rovio's 'Angry Birds.' With games like 'Tiny Death Star' also doing well in the App Store, Disney should easily bring in over $US300 million from mobile games in 2013.
Kabam expects to make roughly $US325 million this year from its mobile games, which include successful games based on 'The Hobbit' and Kabam IP like 'Kingdoms of Camelot.'
King has over 150 titles and releases new games every month, but its true claim to fame is its uber-hit 'Candy Crush Saga,' which has brought in more than $US300 million alone this year.
At one point in 2013, EA Mobile's Real Racing 3 was the #1 free app in over 90 countries' App Stores. Together, its apps brought in roughly $US100 million per quarter in 2013 (for a total of ~$400 million).
Supercell hit the scene with a bang: 'Clash of Clans' came out of nowhere to become the largest game on iOS. Now on Android, the company continues to make hits with its 'tablet first' design philosophy. It's expected to do $US800 million in sales this year.
GungHo Online rought in $US763 million in sales in the first half of 2013 alone, a year-over-year increase of 945%. It could top $US1.5 billion this year.
DeNA's Mobage social gaming network and wide selection of games brought in revenues of over $US500 million in just its first fiscal quarter of 2013. That would put it on target for $US2 billion this year.
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