The mobile games that have made more than $1 billion in lifetime sales

Over 60 games have passed the $1 billion milestone

The mobile games that have made more than $1 billion in lifetime sales

Updated: April 4 2022

Mobile games have changed a lot over the years and an increasing number of mobile games have generated over $1 billion of lifetime revenue: with many now doing so on an annual basis.

When this list was first created and maintained, it counted among 23 titles to have breached the billion dollar landmark. Now, there are over 60.

As such, PocketGamer.biz will be routinely updating this list to catalogue all of the games that have achieved this astounding achievement.


So, taking that all into consideration, we’ve put together an ongoing list of games officially confirmed (or reported) to have crossed into the $1 billion milestone.

Click on the link below to view the list.

N.B. Please note each game's entry is written when it becomes a billion-dollar game. We don't update each game's entry on a regular basis.

Click here to view the list »
  • Forge of Empires

    Forge of Empires logo

    Developer: InnoGames
    Based: Germany
    Release date: April 2012
    Genre: 4X Strategy/Empire Building
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Forge of Empires, the first German entrant on our list, has been going from strength to strength for well over a decade now - and as the games’ owner recently assured us in a Pocketgamer.biz podcast episode, InnoGames still has no intention of slowing down the continued development of its flagship title. Or its marketing, for that matter.

    A mere eight weeks after the start of its public beta, the free-to-play strategy title had racked up more than a million registered players. Unsurprisingly, the title received Germany’s premiere games award the following year. By 2015, InnoGames’ F2P expertise became undeniable when the game hit its first big financial landmark by hauling in $100 million of lifetime revenue.

    Undoubtedly, that success was a major reason for sparking MTG’s first investment into the Hamburg-based developer and publisher. And a sound investment it was: By 2019, Forge of Empire’s lifetime revenue had already quintupled.

    In 2023, the worldwide strategy hit finally broke the magic $1bn barrier, making it one of the most successful games to ever come out of Germany.

  • FIFA Mobile

    FIFA Mobile logo

    Developer: Electronic Arts
    Based: The USA
    Release date: October 2016
    Genre: Sport
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    FIFA isn’t just one of the biggest sports franchises on the planet, but a veritable gaming juggernaut. In the thirty years since the first entry, the series has seen thirty-eight different entries. A few early experiments with mobile gaming were soon put to one side, but the triumphant return of FIFA Mobile in 2016 quickly went on to be a runaway hit, as evidenced by its placement in the unicorn club.

    The game translates the gameplay mechanics of its originators with a few twists, such as the new VS. Attack mode. The game’s particular success can also be attributed, in part, to different monetisation models - whereas EA releases a new console and PC game every year, FIFA Mobile instead releases periodic updates, allowing it to continue to accumulate revenue whereas other platforms see theirs split across different games.

    FIFA Mobile’s success hasn’t been without a certain degree of controversy. The game has been the subject of numerous lawsuits regarding the use of lootboxes, and employees at EA have been investigated following allegations that they were selling rare in-game items directly to players.

    Despite this, the game continued its meteoric rise, celebrating an 80% rise in new players in the 2022 fiscal year and experiencing a 92% rise in players across Southeast Asia in November, indicating that the game has no signs of slowing down.

    The game’s unique place in EA’s portfolio was recently highlighted when the company split into EA Entertainment and EA Sports, with FIFA mobile continuing to operate under EA Entertainment with the rest of the company’s mobile games, showcasing its continued success and pole position amongst EA’s offerings on the platform.

  • Guns of Glory

    Guns of Glory logo

    Developer: FunPlus
    Based: Switzerland
    Release date: August 2017
    Genre: 4X Strategy
    Where it found success: Emerging markets

    FunPlus have announced that their strategy MMO Guns of Glory is approaching 100M downloads as it closes in on its fifth anniversary.

    Guns of Glory came out of the gate strong, with $54 million in its first month, being the 32nd highest grossing app of the month. The game went on to generate $215 million in its first year. While revenue may have slowed down, the game is still exhibiting strong performance, especially in emerging markets. The success of Guns of Glory was a key contributor in FunPlus exceeding $1.3 billion in revenue by April 2019.

    “We’re impressed and grateful for the great performance of Guns of Glory over the past five years, as well as its growing community,” said Chris Petrovic, Chief Business Officer at FunPlus. “We’re close to celebrating our 100M downloads milestone, which reinforces the commitment of our KingsGroup studio to keep delivering an incredible gaming experience within one of the greatest franchises in the mobile strategy genre”

    Last year we spoke with Petrovic regarding the fallout of IDFA and the Web3 movement.

    To commemorate five amazing years, the MMO strategy game will be hosting the Treasure Island Adventure event from September 19 toOctober 16, offering a variety of themed activities. Among these events is the Twilight League Championship Tournament, which will pit alliance against alliance in knockout matches in various stages as they aim to be crowned champions over thousands of the world’s best Guns and Glory players.

    FunPlus has gone from strength to strength since the release of Guns of Glory, recently announcing a new development studio in Barcelona.


  • The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage

    The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage logo

    Developer: Bandai Namco
    Based: Japan
    Release date: September 2015
    Genre: Rhythm/CCG
    Where it found success: Japan

    If you’re not familiar with Japanese pop culture, you may be unfamiliar with how big a deal Idols are. These entertainers enjoy massive success and loyal fanbases, so really the question wasn’t if a mobile game based on the phenomenon would make a billion dollars, but when.

    Starlight Stage is based on the popular anime and video game The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, and sees the player step into the shoes of a talent agent assembling a band of five idols, utilising rhythm mechanics for live performances and CCG mechanics to build the band.

    The game’s continued success is notable given that the title has only been released in Japan, the home of idol fandom. Regular updates have kept the game going strong, even exceeding the original game, with Bandai Namco announcing that The Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls will end service on March 30.

  • Farm Heroes Saga

    Farm Heroes Saga logo

    Developer: King
    Based: UK
    Release date: September 2013
    Genre: Match 3
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    King is a very successful company, but the developer’s biggest hits - including other entries in this list - have been Match three titles. The simple, yet complex gameplay lends itself well to mobile devices, while the bright visuals and addictive gameplay keeps people coming back.

    With a mix of fruits, vegetables, and farmyard animals to match up instead of candy or soda bottles, it might initially seem that the game’s changes from the norm are mostly cosmetic, but the addition of Hero mode - letting players get a higher score after meeting their quotas - as well as additional features help the game stand out from it’s predecessors. While the game may not have become the household name Candy Crush Saga did - no game show adaptation here - this entry in the Unicorn Club proves that King know what players want - and how to keep things fresh.

  • King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare

    King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare logo

    Developer: Funplus

    Based: Switzerland

    Release date: May 2016

    Genre: 4X Strategy

    Where it found success: Worldwide

    King of Avalon recently celebrated its sixth anniversary, and the ten million dollars of revenue the game generated in the preceding thirty days is a testament to the game’s massive - and ongoing - success. Since launch, the game hasn’t just earned more than a billion dollars in revenue - it’s seen players form 1.1 million guilds, create 144.1 million unique characters, and slay more than 6.29 billion creatures. The game celebrated this milestone with numerous in-game events, as well as the inclusion of actor Orlando Bloom as a playable character. As such, it doesn’t appear that Funplus have any plans of cutting the journey short anytime soon.

  • Fishdom: Deep Dive

    Fishdom: Deep Dive logo


    Based: Ireland

    Release date: February 2013

    Genre: Match-three

    Where it found success:Worldwide

    Fishdom was originally launched as a web game in 2008 and later came to the Nintendo DS in 2009 and later mobile in 2013.

    The game has received multiple updates since it was first launched and it is now similar to its other match-three titles, Gardenscapes, and Homescapes.

    Although not as well known as Playrix’s ‘scapes’ series, Fishdom has still managed to generate over $1 billion in player spending since its release. Players can earn coins through completing levels through which they can buy new fish and decorations for their virtual aquariums, and filling their aquarium’s beauty index rewards players with higher coin earning potential, which differentiates the title from some other match-3 titles. The game was the seventh highest-grossing mobile title of Q3 2021,

  • AFK Arena

    AFK Arena logo

    Developer: Lilith Games
    Based: China
    Release date: April 4th, 2019
    Genre: RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    AFK Arena is a turn-based RPG with idle elements – as the name implies, the game doesn’t stop when you turn it off, allowing players to level up while idle. Initially released in April 2019, the game had reached six million downloads by June that year, with the game’s number of installs skyrocketed in January 2020, when it was nominated for the Google Play User Choice award. This also coincided with a significant increase in revenue, with the game earning $75 million for the month.

    The game has managed to maintain its popularity through consistent updates and the occasional crossover, attracting new players from different audiences.

  • RAID: Shadow Legends

    RAID: Shadow Legends logo

    Developer: Plarium
    Based: Israel
    Release date: July 29th, 2018
    Genre: RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    RAID: Shadow legends feels like it’s been an inescapable presence over the past few years, so its inclusion on this list feels almost inevitable. The game passed the billion dollar threshold in July, around four years since release.

    The game found success worldwide but proved to be a particularly big hit in the USA, which accounted for 59 per cent of player spend. Of the 62 million downloads for the game thus far, 24.7 per cent of them came from American players.

    The game owes much to its success to its marketing policy, sponsoring many content creators, especially those within the game space. MrBeast, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and JonTron are just a few of those whose work is supported by RAID: Shadow Legends. This has made the game the object of much derision lately due to the frequent in-video advertising, but they say no press is bad press - any game that makes a billion dollars in revenue must be doing something right.


  • Mafia City

    Mafia City logo

    Developer: Yotta Games
    Based: China
    Release date: March 30, 2017
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Mafia City is a strategy game with RTS combat mechanics that puts you in the shoes of a mafia boss seeking to grow your empire.

    The game has been somewhat controversial, with allegations of misogynistic ads leading to one ad in particular being removed from Facebook and YouTube. However, the game has seen steady growth and consistent earnings, and currently boasts a combined 4.5 star rating across markets from over 1.25 million users. In 2019, we listed Yotta Games as one of the top 50 mobile game developers in the world, and the company owes part of its success to the continued longevity of Mafia City.

  • Lineage 2M

    Lineage 2M logo

    Developer: NCSoft, E&G Studios
    Based: Korea
    Release date: November 27th, 2019
    Genre: MMORPG
    Where it found success: Asia

    Lineage 2M, the mobile version of Korean MMORPG Lineage 2, which first released all the way back in 2003. Within the first three months of release the game brought in $152 million of revenue.

    The game follows Lineage M, which is one of the highest grossing mobile titles of all time, joining the unicorn club within one year of release.

    Part of the game’s success can be attributed to variety, with various races and classes to choose from, although some classes and races are mutually exclusive. The game can also host 10,000 simultaneous players.

    The game released in Western markets in December 2021, with developers hoping to replicate the success of the original release.

  • Toon Blast

    Toon Blast logo

    Developer: Peak Games (Zynga)
    Based: Turkey
    Release date: January 2017
    Genre: Match 3
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Toon Blast isn’t the only match 3 game on this list or even the only one by Zynga. The genre has found success due to its simple yet challenging gameplay, but Toon Blast sets itself apart with its charming art style and characters.

    Alongside Toy Blast, this game was key to developer Peak surpassing a billion dollars in revenue in 2019. This drew the attention of Zynga, who acquired Peak in July 2020. This acquisition quickly showed itself to be a wise move, as Toon Blast exceeded a billion dollars of revenue on its own just two months later.

  • Dragon Quest Walk

    Dragon Quest Walk logo

    Developer: COLOPL
    Based: Japan
    Release date: September 2019
    Genre: Location based/AR
    Where it found success: Japan

    Dragon Quest owes a lot of its success to its combination of several factors: the turn-based combat that should be familiar to any RPG players, the visual style that’s emblematic of the Dragon Quest franchise, and the introduction of these features into the real world through the use of AR. The game became the second-highest grossing mobile title worldwide within three months of release, and was a key factor in Square Enix’s success in the mobile games space throughout 2020, with $818.2 million dollars of revenue in the first six months of the year alone.

    Dragon Quest Walk is exclusive to Japan, which is fitting as the franchise as a whole has seen its greatest success in the country, with the latest entry in the mainline franchise, Dragon Quest XI, exceeding two million units sold on day one of release. A worldwide release would certainly improve the title’s revenue, despite the franchise’s lower profile overseas, but the game has found plenty of success without the need to branch out.

  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes

    Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes logo

    Developer: EA Capital Games, EA Mobile
    Based: America
    Release date: November 24th, 2015
    Genre: RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    To an extent, Galaxy of Heroes is a game within a game. Players take the role of a character in the Star Wars universe, using familiar faces from the series to fight in holographic, turn-based battles. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the game proved wildly popular due to its ability to leverage the Star Wars universe to its advantage, reaching unicorn status in November 2021.

    Part of the game’s success can be attributed to the evolving Star Wars universe, with EA releasing new content such as new characters to coincide with the most recent releases, such as The Mandalorian. The game has proven to be the most profitable mobile game in the series’ history, at one point accounting for 98 per cent of revenue from the previous five releases. As of November 2021, it was EA’s top mobile game of all time, with a particularly strong performance in the USA, where it earned over $850 million dollars.

  • Marvel: Contest of Champions

    Marvel: Contest of Champions logo

    Developer: Kabam (Netmarble)
    Based: Canada
    Release Date: December 10 2014
    Genre: Fighting
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Marvel: Contest of Champions has accumulated over 215 million downloads and 2.8 billion hours of playtime as of December 2019.

    The game puts players in the shoes of a summoner, tasked with assembling a team of both heroes and villains and pitting them against each other in combat. Originally featuring a roster of 26 playable characters, the gradual introduction of new heroes from Marvel’s catalogue of characters.

    The fighting game has successfully leveraged Marvel’s popularity with some staggering results, including a boom of 583 per cent in revenue over the space of one week in 2018. While it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, with the game at one point facing boycotts over balancing changes.

    It’s also notable that the game was removed from Android stores in China in 2016, before making a return to the platform in 2019. By 2020, players had spent a total of 2.8 billion hours playing the game.

  • Toy Blast

    Toy Blast logo

    Developer: Peak Games (Zynga)
    Based: Turkey
    Release date: June 1 2015
    Genre: Match-3
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    One of the pioneers of the Turkish mobile games industry, Peak Games first came to prominence with the release of Toy Blast, which later became one of the most known match-three titles on the market.

    Peak Games titles are most popular in the US, but are popular worldwide. By 2018, Toy Blast had generated more than $440 million in revenue, and the continuing success of Toy Blast, as well as other games in Peak’s portfolio, drew the attention of Zynga, which acquired the company for $1.85 billion in 2020.

    The success of Toy Blast, alongside other titles helped to make match-three the biggest genre of games on the iOS market, accounting for 21 per cent of earned revenue in 2020.

  • Minecraft

    Minecraft logo

    Developer: Mojang Studios
    Based: Sweden
    Release date: November 18 2011
    Genre: Open world
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Despite being over a decade old, Minecraft is still earning consistent revenue, being the only premium game in 2018’s top-grossing mobile titles. Since its initial release in 2011 the game has seen consistent growth across platforms, with new content being regularly released, leading to the acquisition of developer Mojang by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.

    Minecraft isn’t just one of the top-earning mobile games of all time, it’s one of the most profitable video games on any platform.

    In 2020, the game exceeded 200 million copies sold worldwide, with nearly 300 million registered users in China alone as of 2019. The game continues to drive engagement, being one of Twitter’s most discussed games of Q1 2022.

    The open world and open-ended objectives lets players create their own content on a greater scale than many titles, with everything from recreations of real-world locations to a library of censored journalism available in game.

  • Hearthstone

    Hearthstone logo

    Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    Based: America
    Release date: March 2014 (PC), April 2014 (iOS), and December 2014 (Google Play)
    Genre: Collectible Card Game
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Hearthstone has maintained its success through the continuous release of new content, leveraging the popular Warcraft universe to the CCG market.

    The game has become popular in the esports circuit, being partly responsible for Google purchasing the streaming rights for Activision Blizzard matches. The game surpassed 100 million users in 2018 and, while the mobile version only accounts for a part of that success, its impact can’t be understated. The availability of crossplay means that players on mobile devices can easily face off against opponents playing on PC.

    Hearthstone’s longevity has seen it reach Unicorn Club status despite Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links outpacing it in terms of revenue since release, and the game has been credited with paving the way for other CCG games.

    Despite the availability of Hearthstone on PC as well as mobile devices, 71 per cent of all revenue for the genre was earned on the mobile market as of 2018, with Hearthstone leading the charge.

  • Uma Musume Pretty Derby

    Uma Musume Pretty Derby logo

    Developer: Cygames
    Based: Japan
    Release date: February 2021
    Genre: Simulation
    Where it found success: Japan

    In Uma Musume Pretty Derby, players are tasked with raising, training, and racing horse-girl hybrids. A strange premise, but the game has taken off, garnering an anime adaptation prior to the game’s release.

    The game raced to success upon release in Japan, being the third most downloaded game in April 2021 and earning an estimated $965 million dollars in its first year.

    The game mirrored its success upon its Korean release in June 2022, with an estimated $2.3 million dollars earned in revenue in the first 24 hours.

    Some analysts attribute this success to the character-collecting aspects, claiming that such mechanics could change the country’s mobile gaming scene. The game is so successful it was singled out as a key factor in CyberAgent’s ranking in the 2021 Top 50 Game Makers.

  • Empire & Puzzles

    Empire & Puzzles logo

    Developer: Small Giant
    Based: Finland
    Release date: March 2017
    Genre: Puzzle
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Empire and Puzzles is a Match 3 RPG hybrid, and signalled a shift in direction for Small Giant, which had previously focused on the casual games market.

    Taking a €5.4 million investment from EQT Ventures, the game’s massive success led to $33 million in revenue by the end of the year, and saw Small Giant take home the Small Screen Game of the Year award at the Finnish Game Awards in 2017, and an additional $41 million investment in January 2018 to scale the game for a larger audience saw the game exceeding its first-year profits in just for months.

    Small Giant was acquired by Zynga in December of 2018 for a combined $560 million of cash and stock, with additional payments based on performance and, by October 2019, the game reached $500 million of lifetime profits and 41 million downloads, with the gameplay used as the basis for the studio’s follow-up, Puzzle Combat.

    Empire & Puzzles has been regarded as a critical element in Zynga’s FY2019 success, which saw revenue skyrocket to $1.32 billion.

  • Fire Emblem Heroes

    Fire Emblem Heroes logo

    Developer: Intelligent Systems
    Based: Japan
    Release date: February 2 2017
    Genre: Tactical RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Despite Super Mario Run's higher download rate, Fire Emblem Heroes' profitability was an early indicator of the title's potential, and after five years, has finally breached the $1 billion revenue landmark, making Fire Emblem Heroes Nintendo’s most financially successful mobile title yet.

    The recipient of multiple awards, notably Best Mobile Game at the D.I.C.E and SXSW Gaming Awards, this tactical RPG features a gacha system, through which users can earn over 200 heroes. The game also features a subscription service which grants users access to exclusive quests and heroes, among other benefits.

    The game accounts for approximately 54.5 per cent of Nintendo’s mobile revenue, despite making up only 2.7 per cent of downloads across Nintendo’s mobile catalogue.

    Not all of Nintendo’s attempts to enter the mobile games space have been as successful, and Fire Emblem Heroes itself has seen some controversy, having been banned in Belgium due to the country’s restrictions regarding lootboxes.

    However, its popularity is undeniable, both worldwide but mostly in Japan, which accounts for approximately 54 per cent of revenue and 47 per cent of downloads.

  • State of Survival

    State of Survival logo

    Developer: FunPlus, KingsGroup
    Based: Switzerland
    Release date: August 26 2019
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    State of Survival seemed destined to be a landmark success, having reached 60 million downloads within its first year. But the title succeeded where many strategy games have failed by leveraging trends and featuring content from IPs such as The Walking Dead and DC – the former of which earned the game 20 million new downloads, pushing it over the 100 million mark.

    The game features base management mechanics and combat in a zombie-apocalypse setting as players build and protect a settlement from the living dead.

    In 2021, Huawei awarded State of Survival the Best Strategy Game prize at the Appmagic Editor’s Choice Awards, citing its multi-layered gameplay and integration of various strategy game features as the reason for their decision.

  • Township

    Township logo

    Developer: Playrix
    Based: Russia and Ireland
    Release date: October 2013
    Genre: Simulation
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Another billion dollar game from Playrix?

    Township was the second title from Playrix and is the company’s biggest deviation from its well performing match-three ‘scapes’ series, being that it is a town building simulator.

    From its launch to July 2015, Township remained constantly in the US iPhone top grossing charts, keeping a stable position between 200 and 250.

    Between 2016 and 2017, Township jumped into the top 100 and also established a strong presence in Europe and was in the top 50 in the UK and Germany, at 32nd and 12th respectively.

    Fishdom’s release on mobile also pushed Township’s revenue higher and the game continued to do well, passing the $1 billion mark.

  • Onmyoji

    Onmyoji logo

    Developer: NetEase
    Based: China
    Release date: September 2016
    Genre: Team Battle
    Where it found success: East Asia

    Onmyoji is a turn-based strategy based on a series of Japanese novels of the same name.

    The year following its release Onmyoji helped push NetEase’s Q1 2017 revenues past $2 billion after the game got 200 million downloads in February that year which was linked to its launch in Japan.

    It repeated this success the following quarter following a successful launch in South Korea and quickly reached the top ten grossing mobile games in the country.

    The game launched in Western countries in 2018 but by this point the game had started to lose traction and revenues had fallen. Nonetheless, during the height of its popularity Onmyojij still managed to generate over $1 billion in player spending.

  • Clash of Kings

    Clash of Kings logo

    Developer: Elex Tech
    Based: China
    Release date: June 14 2014
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    A lot of mobile games tend to flare out after an initial craze, but Clash of Kings has avoided this fate despite a decline. By 2019 the game was seeing a $17 million monthly revenue – a steep decline from the $375 million the game earned in 2015, but still the sort of numbers other games could only hope of achieving, with an ARPPU of $102.

    In 2019 the game saw 230 million users, and in the thirty days prior to writing the game generated $2 million, with 28% of the earnings coming from the United States.

    This addition to the Unicorn Club has seen success worldwide, but it was one of the 59 mobile apps by Chinese developers banned in India in 2020 citing privacy concerns, although the border tensions between China and India have also been cited as a reason for this decision.

  • Granblue Fantasy

    Granblue Fantasy logo

    Developer: Cygames
    Based: Japan
    Release date: March 10 2014
    Genre: Role-playing game
    Where it found success: Japan

    Granblue Fantasy certainly has pedigree: with famed composer Nobuo Uematsu and art director Hideo Minaba teaming up once again, following on from their collaborations on games such as Final Fantasy IX and Lost Odyssey.

    In May 2022, Cygames announced that over 32 million players had downloaded Granblue Fantasy, and the game has been adapted into both anime and console games.

    The game is partly responsible for Cygames parent company CyberAgent's significant revenue results, as well as affecting the games industry at large. Granblue Fantasy uses a gatcha system, with the Japanese Online Gaming Industry imposing stricter regulations on the industry as a whole after one player spent around 700 thousand yen (around $6000) attempting to get Andira, a heavily advertised character, in 2015.

    Despite being a Japan exclusive title, this entry into the unicorn club made over 54.8 billion yen between 2017 and 2018 alone, being named as Japan’s sixth highest-grossing title in 2018. (translated via Google Translate).

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out logo

    Developer: NetEase
    Based: China
    Release date: November 2017
    Genre: Battle Royale
    Where it found success: China and Japan

    Knives Out is NetEase’s answer to the massively popular battle royale genre, but unlike many battle royales, this one is exclusively mobile.

    By January 2018, Knives Out had reached 50 million monthly active users and generated $24 million in player spending in February largely due to its launch in Japan. This was at a time where Fortnite, arguably the largest battle royale, was still available on mobile devices, so this is rather impressive for a new IP.

    It wasn’t sunshine and roses for long and eventually NetEase was sued by PUBG Corp over claims that Knives Out, and its other battle royale Rules of Survival, were clones of PUBG.

    The lawsuit was eventually settled in March 2019 however during that time Knives Out continued to bring in players and generated $465 million in 2018, with the majority of revenue from China and Japan. In fact, Japanese players spent approximately 11 times more on Knives Out than they did on PUBG Mobile, showing a clear preference for the title.

  • Genshin Impact

    Genshin Impact logo

    Developer: HoYoverse
    Based: China
    Release date: September 2020
    Genre: RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Where do we even start with this one? If you haven’t heard of Genshin Impact yet then you need to spend more time here on PocketGamer.biz.

    HoYoverse’s RPG took the mobile world by storm and really highlighted to the world the power of mobile devices

    Genshin Impact was an instant hit and was awarded Best Game at the 2020 Google Play awards.

    In its first month, Genshin Impact generated $245 million and quickly reached $1 billion in revenue after only seven months.

    Within its first year alone, Genshin Impact generated over $2 billion in player spending, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, for its first anniversary the game generated the highest consumer spending on a single mobile game in a month.

    According to Sensor Tower, Genshin Impact was one of eight games to generate over $1 billion in 2021, placing third with $1.8 billion in player spending, and has surpassed the $3 billion lifetime revenue landmark.

  • Rise of Kingdoms

    Rise of Kingdoms logo

    Developer: Lilith Games
    Based: China
    Release date: April 2018
    Genre: 4X Strategy
    Where it found success: China

    Lilith Games has enjoyed considerable success, with titles such as AFK Arena, Art of Conquest, and its most recent addition, gacha RPG Dislyte. However, Rise of Kingdoms is a pronounced example of capitalising on Lilith Games' considerable capabilities.

    In December 2020, Rise of Kingdoms was the leading build-and-battler subgenre in China, a position that it had held since its release in 2018.

    By April 2021, Rise of Kingdoms was still going strong and was the seventh highest grossing mobile game for the month, according to Sensor Tower.

  • Slotomania

    Slotomania logo

    Developer: Playtika
    Based: Israel
    Release date: November 2011
    Genre: Slots (Casino)
    Where it found success: US

    Slotomania was one of Israeli mobile games studio Playtika’s first titles, released one year after the studio founded.

    To date, Slotomania has been downloaded over 70 million times with the majority of downloads from the US at 39 per cent.

    As well as its biggest player base, the US is also the biggest spender on Slotomania and is responsible for 65 per cent of player spending, which by April 2021 had reached $1.5 billion.

  • Lords Mobile

    Lords Mobile logo

    Developer: IGG
    Based: China
    Release date: December 2015
    Genre: 4X Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    After its first full year after launch, Lords Mobile had generated $130 million and pushed publisher IGG’s revenue up 59 per cent for that year.

    By 2018 the game was generating up to $50 million each month and by 2021 the game had surpassed over $2 billion in lifetime revenue following the introduction of its battle pass.

    A testament to its success, in 2016 Lords Mobile won the award for Best Competitive Game at the Google Play Awards, followed by Android Excellence Game in 2017.

    According to a recent report from Sensor Tower, Lords Mobile is the leading 4X strategy mobile game in the US and generated $330 million in player spending between November 1 2020 to October 31 2021.

  • Call of Duty: Mobile

    Call of Duty: Mobile logo

    Developer: TiMi Studios (Tencent/Activision Blizzard)
    Based: China
    Release date: October 1st, 2019
    Genre: Battle Royale
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    As part of its financial filings, Activision Blizzard confirmed that Call of Duty: Mobile has been downloaded 500 million times, and has generated over $1 billion in revenue.

    In total, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 400 million units on PC and consoles globally. Developed by Tencent’s Shenzhen-based TiMi Studios, Call of Duty: Mobile was launched on October 1st, 2019, generating three million installs at launch. It was also the fastest ever mobile game to reach 100 million downloads

  • Free Fire

    Free Fire logo

    Developer: Garena/Sea
    Based: Singapore
    Release date: September 30th, 2017
    Genre: Battle Royale
    Where it found success: Emerging markets

    Following in the footsteps of other billionaire mobile battle royale games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile comes Garena's Free Fire.

    Developed by an internal studio, Free Fire is designed specifically to appeal to emerging markets, notably in terms of its file size and networking requirements.

    And on that basis, it has worked brilliantly, being a most downloaded and top-grossing game in India, Brazil and many smaller countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia. 

    It broke through the billion-dollar ceiling within two years. 

    It also one of the most successful mobile esports, with over 100 million views of its tournaments including two million peak concurrents during its most recent world championship. 

  • Homescapes

    Homescapes logo

    Developer: Playrix
    Based: Russia
    Released: September 2017
    Genre: Match-Three/Builder
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    The follow up to Playrix's groundbreaking match-three builder mash-up Gardenscapes, Homescapes has been even more successful

    It's generated over 225 million downloads across iOS and Android, generating the majority of its more than $1 billion of revenue from Japan and key western markets such as the US and Germany.

  • PUBG Mobile

    PUBG Mobile logo

    Developer: Tencent
    Based: China
    Release date: March 23rd, 2017
    Genre: FPS/Battle Royale
    Where it found success: China

    After a problematic debut in which it fell foul of Chinese government restrictions on updating games and hence couldn't properly monetise, PUGB Mobile's sales exploded in Q2 2019. 

    Known as Game For Peace in China - where the battle royale title generates the majority of its revenue - PUBG Mobile also does decent business globally.

    With monthly revenue running at around $160 million per month, the geography split is 60:40 in favour of China. 

  • Fortnite

    Fortnite logo

    Developer: Epic Games
    Based: North Carolina, US
    Released: March 15th, 2018
    Genre: Battle Royale
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Epic's battle royale sensation Fortnite is in a unique position in the industry - it’s a cross-platform title available on PC, consoles and mobile, offering the exact same experience.

    It’s an impressive technological feat by the team and the company’s Unreal Engine, helping to spur on a new cross-platform gaming trend that actually works. You can check out our interview with Epic Games’ Arjan Brussee about how the team made this all possible in Fortnite.

    Not just a game but a cultural phenomenon, in 2018 Epic’s free-to-play battle royale sensation Fortnite made $2.4 billion across platforms, according to SuperData.

    That made it by far the world’s top-earning game, above Nexon’s Dungeon Fighter Online ($1.5 billion), Riot Games’ League of Legends ($1.4 billion) and Niantic’s Pokemon Go ($1.3 billion).

    When it comes to tracking mobile sales, things are slightly more complex as while the title is available on the App Store - where it’s a regular top grosser - Epic has sidestepped the Google Play store on Android in favour of its own launcher.

    Sensor Tower estimates that as of February 2019, the game made $500 million in 326 days on iOS alone.

    For some perspective, it reportedly took Supercell’s Clash Royale 389 days and Tencent’s Honor of Kings 405 days to reach the milestone.

    It's not just the sales that make Fortnite one of the most high-profile games around, its cultural impact has been significant, bringing with it glory and controversy, with Epic sued on numerous occasions for its use of certain dance emotes.

    In February 2019, the game made history by hosting a DJ Marshmello concert that was attended by 10 million concurrent players. That figure doesn’t include those who watched it online.

    That number makes it the all-time biggest concert in the world. The current Guinness World Record holder for a live event is Rod Stewart, who performed back in 1993 to 3.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Fortnite offers a glimpse of what's possible for games as a destination, rather than simply just their core, functional gameplay. And as it reportedly closes in on 250 million players, Epic may have more special events like this up its sleeve in future.

    Epic Games took home Game of the Year for Fortnite at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2019 in association with Game Insight. It also bagged the accolade for Best Developer on the night.

    Epic Games was named as the top mobile games studio in the world in the PocketGamer.biz Top 50 Developer list for 2018.

  • Lineage M

    Lineage M logo

    Developer: NCSoft
    Based: Seongnam, South Korea
    Release date: June 21st, 2017
    Genre: MMORPG
    Where it found success: South Korea

    Lineage M is a mobile port from NCSoft of the hit PC MMO Lineage.

    The IP is one of the most popular franchises going in South Korea, and it didn’t take long for the mobile release to make an impact.

    In just seven hours, the publisher claimed the title had already topped the country’s iOS top grossing chart. That came after 5.5 million players had pre-downloaded the game in anticipation of its launch.

    It was later reported that Lineage M had raked in more than $233 million in just its first month of release. That surpassed the wildly successful launch of Netmarble’s Lineage 2: Revolution mobile game, which generated $176 million in its launch month. NCSoft also receives royalties from that game thanks to its ownership of the Lineage brand.

    In January 2018, it was claimed that Lineage M had rocketed past $1.2 billion revenue in its first year, substantially increasing sales from NCSoft’s mobile business along with it.

    Lineage M hasn’t been able to maintain that success, but then that was always unlikely. It remains a hugely profitable title for NCSoft and is part of a franchise that will no doubt continue to contribute significantly to the publisher’s bottom line in the years ahead.

  • Lineage 2 Revolution

    Lineage 2 Revolution logo

    Developer: Netmarble
    Based: Seoul, South Korea
    Release date: December 2016
    Genre: MMORPG
    Where it found success: South Korea

    Lineage is one of the top gaming IPs in South Korea, achieving great success on PC.

    But when one of the country’s key publishers Netmarble picked up the rights to develop Lineage 2 Revolution for mobile from NCSoft, it’s unlikely it could have anticipated just how popular that game would be.

    Within its first month it picked up $176 million in revenue. If you thought that might not be matched for quite some time, you’d be wrong. NCSoft’s mobile follow-up Lineage M - a port of the original PC MMO - bagged more than $233 million in its first month.

    By 11 months, Lineage 2 Revolution brought home $924 million. At GDC 2019, Netmarble confirmed during Epic’s State of Unreal keynote that the title had reached the $1 billion milestone in its first year.

    The game’s success played a key part on Netmarble’s IPO, success it would have been able to leverage to increase its share value.

    While game sales have slowed for Lineage 2 much as they have for Lineage M, it is still the biggest revenue driver for the publisher ahead of the likes of Marvel Contest of Champions, Cookie Jam, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and Marvel Future Fight.

  • Pokémon GO

    Pokémon GO logo

    Developer: Niantic
    Based: San Francisco, US
    Release date: July 6th, 2016
    Genre: Location-Based/Augmented Reality
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    If Niantic had called the Pokémon in its Google Maps April Fools’ joke in 2014 a $1 billion experiment, you wouldn’t have believed it. That said, after going independent the studio turned the idea into a fully-fledged mobile game in the form of Pokémon GO, delivered a location-based worldwide catch 'em all utilising augmented.

    In just seven months, Pokémon GO generated more than $1 billion. The mobile phenomenon has gone on to accumulate $1 billion every year since its launch - equalling $5 billion in five years as of 2021.

    Pokémon GO is still going strong and is a regular feature in the upper echelons of the top-grossing charts around the world. Not just a fad, the various in-game events and the introduction of new Pokémon have kept players coming back, with no signs of slowing down. 

  • Clash Royale

    Clash Royale logo

    Developer: Supercell
    Based: Helsinki, Finland
    Release date: March 2nd, 2016
    Genre: MOBA/CCG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Supercell isn’t messing around when it comes to developing the biggest games around. Harnessing the Clash of Clans IP (a game also on this very exclusive list), it reportedly generated $1 billion in less than a year.

    The MOBA/card battler has revolutionised how mobile games can monetise, thanks to its innovative four chest system. It also condensed the essence of the hugely popular MOBA genre from PC and deftly brought it to mobile platforms. Its style has been copied by a number of other studios, but so far largely unsuccessfully.

    Not just that, Supercell has really led the way in real-time PvP on mobile, a trend that’s set to stay. It’s more proof, if you needed it, that Supercell is one of the best developers in the world when it comes to creating exciting, fun games that are innovative and can last.

    Much like Clash of Clans, you can expect to see Clash Royale at the top of the charts for years to come, particularly if it successfully breaks into the eSports scene (yet another area Supercell is taking the lead in on mobile).

  • Fantasy Westward Journey

    Fantasy Westward Journey logo

    Developer: Netease
    Based: Guangzhou, China
    Release date: 2015
    Genre: MMORPG
    Where it found success: China

    NetEase is the second biggest mobile games publisher in China, just behind industry heavyweight Tencent.

    Alongside its competitor, it regularly dominates the top 10 grossing charts in China - a market far more lucrative than any other in the world. And the game that’s leading NetEase’s multi-billion dollar charge? Fantasy Westward Journey.

    The MMORPG has had hundreds of millions of players and has become one of the most popular IPs in China. It has regularly charted in second place on the China App Store, just behind mega-hit Honor of Kings.

    In 2017, Pearl Research reported that over $7.3 million worth of in-game currency was exchanged each day in the game - which lets players trade items and collectables with each other for currency.

    In 2017 alone, SuperData reported the game had generated $1.5 billion in revenue. As of 2019, the game continues to be a top earner for NetEase on mobile.

  • Honor of Kings

    Honor of Kings logo

    Developer: Tencent
    Based: Shenzhen, China
    Release date: November 26th, 2015
    Genre: MOBA
    Where it found success: China

    In terms of annual revenue, Honor of Kings is the biggest game on the planet.

    Honor of Kings has had many names, including Arena of Valor in the West (previously Strike of Kings) and Penta Storm in South Korea. It’s also been known as Realm of Valor and King of Glory.

    Taking cues from another massive hit for PC, Riot Games-developed League of Legends (which Tencent also owns), it’s attracted more than 200 million players and reportedly had a peak of had around 70 million daily active users.

    These kinds of numbers boggle the mind, particularly when much of its success comes solely from Tencent’s home country of China. The game has become so popular that the Chinese government has even intervened to hit back at the title, calling it ‘poison’.

    Not many games prompt the ire of the government that effectively force the developer to implement gameplay restriction for young players. Tencent has limited gameplay to one hour a day for children under 12. Those aged 12 to 18 will be restricted to two hours a day. On top of this, children under 12 will not be able to play the game after 9pm in China.

    In March 2019, lifetime sales were estimated to have hit $4.5 billion. The game is now closing in on $10 billion revenue - the mobile game in history to achieve this.


  • Fate/Grand Order

    Fate/Grand Order logo

    Developer: Delightworks
    Based: Tokyo, Japan
    Released: July 30th, 2015 
    Genre: RPG
    Where it found success: Japan

    Fate/Grand Order is one of mobile gaming’s most peculiar smash hits. Not because the game doesn’t fit in with the Asia market’s thirst for RPGs, but because it sits in Sony’s Music division.

    Developed by Delightworks, the title is published by Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. When that division posts a big profit - much of that money comes from Fate/Grand Order’s billions.

    SuperData claims that in 2017, the title made $982 million. By March 2019, Sensor Tower estimates the game reached $3 billion in worldwide player spending. That makes it one of Sony’s all-time biggest gaming successes.

    Players in Japan are said to have contributed 82 per cent ($2.46 billion) of that, with China and the US coming in at a distant second and third.

    In recent times the title has appeared on and off in the top 10 grossing rankings on the Chinese App Store. Still regularly hitting the top spot in Japan, don’t expect Fate/Grand Order to stop raking in the billions anytime soon.

  • Mobile Strike

    Mobile Strike logo

    Developer: Machine Zone
    Based: Palo Alto, USA
    Release date: July 11th, 2015
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    How do you follow up a massive hit like Game of War? Swap fantasy for a real-world war theme and slap Arnold Schwarzenegger on the marketing and voila – you’ve got your next $1 billion game.

    Obviously, it’s not that simple, but MZ, with its huge marketing budget, makes it look easy. Not cannibalising Game of War, Mobile Strike has proven an equally successful addition to MZ’s portfolio - and much like Game of War, you’re unlikely to miss it from the incessant advertising.

    But it worked – MZ’s big Super Bowl ad was the most-watched ad on YouTube in 2016 with over 100 million views. The title began to fall away slightly in 2017 in the top-grossing charts after MZ seemingly pulled the plug on marketing for the game.

    The game has now dropped out of the top 100 grossing rankings on the US App Store, as MZ appears to be focusing its efforts on Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire.


  • Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle

    Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle logo

    Developer: Akatsuki (Bandai Namco)
    Based: Tokyo, Japan 
    Release date: January 30th 2015
    Genre: Puzzle RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Bandai Namco has carefully built up a mobile gaming powerhouse with Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.

    The team’s approach to live operations and in-game events have seen the title come on in leaps and bounds to become a $1 billion-plus generator.

    Back in 2017, we analysed how the game went from grossing outside the top 400 in the US to a big hit. By July 2017, Dokkan Battle had surpassed 200 million downloads.

    As of March 2019, Sensor Tower estimates the game’s lifetime revenue to date had hit $1.6 billion. That came after its best month ever in February 2019 where it generated around $78.6 million.

  • Summoners War

    Summoners War logo

    Developer: Com2Us
    Based: Seoul, South Korea
    Release date: June 12th, 2014
    Genre: Strategy/RPG
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Summoners War is unique in that it’s a game developed in South Korea but has found most of its success internationally - though it's no slouch at home either.

    It’s generated more than $890 million overseas, still leaving a cool $100 million-plus from earnings in its home region.

    Com2us aims to capitalise on its success by developing a new MMO based on the IP and publishing the title as an eSport. To that end, the developer is running a Summoners War World Arena Championship through the second half of 2017.

    It's easy to see the game itself making another $1 billion, and with other projects in the works, Summoners War is very much about to become a multi-billion dollar franchise.

    As of February 2019, Summoners War crossed 100 million downloads.


  • Boom Beach

    Boom Beach logo

    Developer: Supercell
    Based: Helsinki, Finland
    Release date: March 26th, 2014
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    While it clearly has a large and very engaged audience to break through the $1 billion barrier, Boom Beach is one of Supercell’s lesser-known hits.

    Perhaps not as big as its sibling's Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Hay Day, Boom Beach would be a flagship title for any other mobile games studio. But as you’ll see from this list of $1 billion mobile games, Supercell is different.

    We’ve covered Boom Beach’s charting performance previously, showing how it maintained a top 20 position in 2015 and 2016 before steadily facing a decline on both US app stores.

    It’s fallen outside of the top 100 grossing spots in markets such as the UK and US in 2019, though the IP is very much alive with Space Ape Games and Supercell collaborating for Boom Beach: Frontlines. The game is currently in soft launch.

  • Monster Strike

    Monster Strike logo

    Developer: Mixi
    Based: Tokyo, Japan
    Released: August 8th, 2013
    Genre: Physics Strategy/Puzzle/RPG
    Where it found success: Japan

    One thing is for sure: Japan likes its dragons. Following quickly on from Puzzle & Dragons, Mixi’s Monster Strike became Japan’s number one top grosser in 2014 and has continued to generate millions of dollars a day since.

    In August 2015, it was reported the game was earning some $4.2 million a day. Much like Puzzle & Dragons, nearly all of Monster Strike’s success came from Japan as it struggled to find engaged users elsewhere in the world.

    But unlike GungHo, Mixi’s revenues actually grew in 2017 after it managed to grow the userbase of Monster Strike, even hitting a record number of players. By October 2018 it was estimated that lifetime sales had surpassed $7 billion.

    Mixi’s managed to grow the franchise to create merchandising around the brand, as well as release an anime based on the IP. It’s also running eSports tournaments and lotteries for the game.

    The IP has shown remarkable resilience and longevity and, even if Monster Strike fades over time, the franchise looks like it might just live on for a long time yet. Perhaps in another billion-dollar mobile game?

  • Game of War: Fire Age

    Game of War: Fire Age logo

    Developer: Machine Zone
    Based: Palo Alto, US
    Released: July 25th, 2013
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    MZ cuts a somewhat controversial figure in the games industry. It’s at times brutal monetisation practices and complex game design aren’t for everyone, as it focuses on the spenders in its titles and building close-knit communities.

    But there’s a lot to be learned from MZ who have proven masters of creating high revenue-generating games.

    It all kicked off with Game of War: Fire Age in July 2013, which has laid down the foundations in game design, technology and marketing techniques for its latter titles Mobile Strike (also on this list) and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire (perhaps a $1 billion contender in the future).

    You may have come across Game of War in the past from any game that used advertising, including playable ads – though that’s something MZ has pulled back from when it comes to this title.

    You may also recognise those infamous Kate Upton ads on TV. MZ has certainly never been shy about ploughing many millions of dollars into its user acquisition campaigns and attaching a well-known face to the marketing.

    It’s all helped spur Game of War on to well over $1 billion in lifetime revenues - it's been the number one top-grossing game in 111 countries, according to App Annie.

    And while Game of War may be reaching the end of its life, it's still generating revenue for MZ.


  • Disney Tsum Tsum

    Disney Tsum Tsum logo

    Developer: Line Corporation
    Based: Tokyo, Japan
    Release date: 2013
    Genre: Puzzle
    Where it found success: Japan

    Disney Tsum Tsum’s performance has been remarkable since its 2013 release.

    It’s rarely slipped out of the top 10 grossing charts in Japan, though it’s perhaps not been as big a title elsewhere in the world. But it's still been able to hit a significant milestone. On April 11th, 2017 it surpassed $1 billion in lifetime revenues.

    According to Line, the title has been played 165.4 billion times since it was launched in Japan in 2013 and later worldwide in July 2014. Disney has also benefitted hugely from the Tsum Tsum brand. Combined game and merchandise sales are said to have reached a combined $2 billion.

    On April 29th 2017, it hit 70 million downloads. By February 2019, the game reportedly surpassed $1.5 billion in sales.

  • Candy Crush Saga

    Candy Crush Saga logo

    Developer: King
    Based: London, UK
    Released: November 14th, 2012
    Genre: Match-Three
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    If you know one mobile game, it’s probably Candy Crush Saga. If you’ve played one mobile game, it’s probably Candy Crush Saga, too.

    The title perfected the match-three genre for mobile devices and has become not just a hugely successful game (and franchise), but a cultural phenomenon.

    There’s a reason there’s now a Candy Crush game show in the US that is attracting four million-plus viewers.

    In 2017 we reported the title had only dropped out of the US App Store top 10 grossing charts twice in over four years, and while its sequels have been highly lucrative themselves, they’ve never quite managed to match the original.

    Back in September 2016, it was reported that an average of 18 billion games in Candy Crush Saga was being played every month. It’s easily surpassed one trillion game plays since it was launched on Facebook in 2012.

    The title's multi-billion-dollar success (as well as the rest of its hugely popular titles) is a key reason why Activision Blizzard swooped in to buy King for $5.9 billion in November 2015.

    As of October 2018, Candy Crush Saga was estimated to have reached $3.91 billion in lifetime revenue.

  • Clash of Clans

    Clash of Clans logo

    Developer: Supercell
    Based: Helsinki, Finland
    Release date: August 2nd, 2012
    Genre: Strategy
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    There’s only one Supercell. And it should come as no surprise that the Finnish developer is on the list of mobile’s biggest revenue generators.

    Clash of Clans was released five years ago on August 2nd 2012 and to this day it remains one of the highest grossing games period, not just on mobile. It’s thought to be raking in $1 billion a year, making it a multi-billion-dollar game.

    Supercell hasn’t simply rested on its laurels with the game – despite having a comparatively (to other developers) tiny team working on the title.

    The release of a major ‘Builder Base’ update, which introduced some major changes including simultaneous PvP gameplay, helped boost sales once again for the ageing title.

    In July 2018, it was estimated that Clash of Clans had surpassed $4 billion in revenue.

    Clash of Clans is the pinnacle of the build-and-battle strategy genre on mobile, perfecting the design and monetisation that’s led it to become such a force in gaming.

    You can find out more about how the team has kept the game going so strong after five years in our interview with the title’s Senior Server Engineer Jonas Collaros.

  • Hay Day

    Hay Day logo

    Developer: Supercell
    Based: Helsinki, Finland
    Release date: June 21st, 2012
    Genre: Simulation
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    When a lot of people think of Supercell, they think of it as the Clash of Clans studio. But the game that started it all was in fact Hay Day (unless you count Gunshine, of course).

    Mobile farming title Hay Day was first launched in 2012 on iOS, before coming to Android over a year later. It launched around a month and a half before Clash of Clans did, and while the latter has had explosive growth, Hay Day itself is no slouch and has bagged over $1 billion.

    But don’t take our word for it - Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen revealed the news himself in the company’s 2018 financials.

    All of the company’s first four-game releases - Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Clash Royale - have all made more than $1 billion.

    At the time of writing (April 2nd, 2019), Hay Day was still a regular top 80 grossing mobile games on the US App Store.

    If there’s any game that can show the longevity to be had on mobile - it’s Hay Day.

  • Puzzle & Dragons

    Puzzle & Dragons logo

    Developer: GungHo
    Based: Tokyo, Japan
    Release date: February 20th, 2012
    Genre: Match-Three/RPG
    Where it found success: Japan

    GungHo’s match-three monster-battling RPG Puzzle & Dragons will be remembered as one of the most significant mobile games of all time.

    Released in Japan in February 2012, it was the first game to officially cross the $1 billion sales milestone.

    It showed just how popular mobile games can be and has its blend of match-three, RPG mechanics, collectables and gacha monetisation, while also been hugely influential on that Japanese mobile games market.

    What’s even more impressive (depending on how you look at it), is most of this revenue came from just Japan, where the title has been most successful by far.

    By July 2017 the game has achieved 46 million downloads in Japan alone. For some perspective, in 2016 Japan’s total population was said to stand at around 127 million.

    Revenues from Puzzle & Dragons have been on the decline in recent times, but years after launch it’s still no slouch. In fact, lifetime earnings from the game are estimated to have exceeded some $7 billion.

  • Roblox

    Roblox logo

    Developer: Roblox Corp
    Based: US
    Release date: May 2012
    Genre: Creative Sandbox
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    The past few years has seen many firms chasing after the coveted metaverse, but perhaps one of the closest yet is Roblox.

    With its array of user generated content (UGC) available on the platform, players are able to jump into all sorts of games; or as Roblox calls them, 'experiences'.

    First launched on PC in 2006, Roblox came to mobile devices in 2012 with its launch on iOS and later on Android devices in 2014, and the game continued to grow.

    Since its launch Roblox has only continued to generate revenue at a faster rate. In 2021, Roblox generated $1.3 billion in player spending which made it one of eight mobile games that generated over $1 billion in revenue that year alone.

    The game is now perhaps the truest interpretation of the metaverse. It has also hosted a variety of music performances, such as David Guetta, Twenty One Pilots, and KSI. Clothing brands are also keen to enter the Roblox metaverse, including Nike, Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, and more. Even Spotify has joined the party.

  • Gardenscapes

    Gardenscapes logo

    Developer: Playrix
    Based: Ireland
    Release date: June 2016
    Genre: Match-3
    Where it found success: Worldwide

    Much like its predecessor earlier on the list, Playrix’s Gardenscapes has also shot past the billion dollar mark.

    Gardenscapes was the foundation that led to Playrix perfecting its formula that it has used for Homescapes and its upcoming Farmscapes.

    By August 2021 the title surpassed $3 billion in player spending after the title generated almost $1 billion in player spending alone in 2020 when the title had 11.5 million DAU.

    We spoke with Playrix about how they changed the match-three market with their ‘scapes’ franchise and how this rocketed the studio to be the household name it is now.

  • Candy Crush Soda Saga

    Candy Crush Soda Saga logo

    Developer: King
    Based: UK
    Release date: June 2014
    Genre: Match-3
    Where it found success: Globally

    Ever since the candy-matching phenomenon first appeared, players haven’t been able to get enough.

    Candy Crush Soda Saga was the first sequel in the franchise and featured soda bottles in place of candy. Soda Saga is currently the only sequel in the franchise to surpass $1 billion in consumer spending.

    The success of the Candy Crush franchise is one of the reasons that Microsoft is seeking to acquire Activision Blizzard (and ActiBlizz acquired King) in early 2022 for almost $70 billion.

    As confirmed by a moderator on a post to the community page for the game, as of January 2022 there were 8470 levels available on mobile devices.

  • Coin Master

    Coin Master logo

    Developer: Moon Active
    Based: Israel
    Release date: December 2010
    Genre: Casual/Luck Battle
    Where it found success: Europe

    In the Casino mobile games space, Coin Master is leading the front and has held its number one spot for some time.

    Launched in 2010, Coin Master is the oldest mobile game on our list to surpass $1 billion in player spending.

    Coin Master has found its greatest success in Europe, in particular the UK and Germany. In 2019, Coin Master was the highest grossing mobile game in Europe with $211 million in player spending.

    More recently, Coin Master was the second-highest earning mobile game in Europe in 2021 with $392 million generated during the period, highlighting how the game has only continued to increase in popularity with time.

    On the back of the success of Coin Master, Moon Active raised $300 million in November 2021, which valued the company at $5 billion, quadrupling its value in two years.