The world’s top 10 game companies made $126 billion in 2021 from software, with mobile leading the charge

Tencent came out on top with $33 billion, three quarters of which came from mobile

The world’s top 10 game companies made $126 billion in 2021 from software, with mobile leading the charge

A new infographic from Superjoost reveals that the ten largest gaming companies in the world generated $126 billion in 2021 from software sales. Of this figure, the majority came from mobile devices.

Tencent generated $33 billion in revenue – over a quarter of the total generated by all ten companies – and almost twice the next biggest gaming firm, Sony, which generated $17 billion.

Mobile remained the top performer when it comes to revenue generation. More than three quarters, or approximately $24.75 billion of Tencent’s total came from mobile sources. A figure which is, on its own, a greater sum than any of the other listed companies generated.

Apple and Google both saw great success from mobile releases. All of Apple’s $15 billion gaming revenue comes from mobile, and only a small part of Google’s $12 billion comes from other sources. A part of this market dominance could be due to the fact that Google Play is banned in China, one of the world’s largest markets in terms of mobile gaming.

NetEase earned $10 billion, around two-thirds of which came from mobile revenue streams. Around a third of the $9 billion earned by Activision Blizzard likewise came as a result of the company’s mobile games. The two company recently collaborated on summer hit Diablo Immortal.

Console came second to mobile, making up the majority of income earned by four companies: Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts, and making up around a third of Activision Blizzard’s total gaming revenue. Only one company, Valve, generated the majority of its gaming revenue from PC, at 100 percent.

The strength of mobile highlights once again the importance of accessibility to gamers. While PC is the most powerful way to game, the steep entry requirements to run some of the most powerful games act as a barrier to many gamers. Consoles, meanwhile, have a lower entry barrier, while still offering comparable graphics and performance.

While individual mobile gamers may spend less money on games, the range of monetisation strategies and accessibility of gaming on phones results in particularly high revenue.

Earlier this year we listed several of the companies listed in this article, including Tencent and NetEase, as some of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.