With $238 million in consumer spending between Google Play and The App Store, Tencent’s Honor of Kings maintained its status as the world’s highest grossing mobile game. This success was attributed, in part, to the launch of the Summer Delusion event and a new skin, helping to attract the interest of consumers. The release of new skins throughout the month, including Hello Kitty-themed skins on August 22, helped to maintain the game’s popularity for the month.
Fellow Tencent title PUBG Mobile came in second place, with $140 million. The game proved particularly lucrative in China - where it operates as Peacekeeper Elite - with the country’s iOS users contributing 50% of the total. This was followed by 10.4% in the USA and 7.1% in India. The game peaked at number two in China’s best-selling iPhone game charts on August 11.
miHoYo’s Honkai: Star Rail is identified as the third highest-grossing game of the month, with China again proving to be a key market, with the country’s iOS users generating 41.1% of the total revenue and pushing the title to the top of the country’s charts. This was followed by 25.1% from Japanese users and 11.9% from the USA.
Leading the market
In total, August 2023 saw the App Store and Google Play generate $6.59 billion in revenue. The USA remains the most lucrative mobile gaming market, contributing $1.9 billion - 28.5% of the total. This was followed by China’s iOS market with 20% and the Japanese market with 17.1%.
Fate/Grand Order was identified as the game with the highest rise in revenue, followed by Monopoly GO! And Honkai: Star Rail. MapleStory M, which was released in China in mid-August, saw significant growth, rising to fifth place in China’s highest grossing iPhone games list and topping the country’s mobile download charts. The continued strength of China’s mobile gaming market is highlighted by the fact that the title reached fourth place in the global revenue growth charts, beating out stiff competition from the likes of Pokémon GO and Honor of Kings.
Interestingly, the number six and seven spots in the revenue growth charts were held by One Piece Treasure Cruise and One Piece Bounty Rush, respectively. This suggests that users worldwide were inspired to check out the games ahead of the release of the live-action Netflix adaptation of the long-running on August 31. This highlights once again the potential of adapting existing IPs into the mobile space.
We listed the developers of several of the games mentioned in this article, including Tencent and miHoYo, as some of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.