The top 100 mobile games in the U.S. by revenue accounted for 64.4 percent of all player spending in 2020, representing a 4.6 percent decrease in revenue share since 2017, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data shows.
For this analysis, we studied data from 2017 to 2020 for the U.S. and global mobile games market to examine how player spending is split across the top 1,000 titles, and how each tier has grown over the years. While the revenue share for the top 100 mobile games in the U.S. has decreased over the last four years, player spending in this tier increased significantly by more than 35 percent between 2019 and 2020 to $14.4 billion, an outsized performance sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
By comparison, all other tiers–divided into 100 games each–saw a faster increase in terms of percentage growth, with titles ranked 101 to 200 by player spending seeing revenue rise by 41.2 percent year-over-year to $3 billion in 2020, increasing their overall revenue share by 0.3 percentage points to 13.7 percent. Titles ranked 201 to 300, meanwhile, saw player spending grow by 45.5 percent to $1.4 billion in 2020, with the tier’s overall share of revenue rising by 0.3 percentage points to 6.2 percent.
When it comes to the top 10 revenue generating titles in the U.S., player spending rose by 27.2 percent Y/Y in 2020 to $4.2 billion, with their overall revenue share declining by 1.6 percentage points to 18.7 percent. This is down significantly from 2017, when the top 10 grossing mobile games accounted for 25.2 percent of all player spending.
Analyzing the global market, a different story emerges. Worldwide market growth for the top 100 grossing mobile games was slower than in the U.S., with the top titles accumulating $42.7 billion, up 29 percent Y/Y. The top 100 accounted for a 53.5 percent share of global player spending in 2020, up approximately 1 percentage point from 2019, but down from 56 percent in 2017.
Titles ranked from 101 to 200 by revenue saw spending rise by 18 percent Y/Y in 2020 to $10.8 billion, with the revenue share of these games declining by 1 percentage point to 13.6 percent. Titles ranked 201 to 300, meanwhile, saw revenue increase by approximately 19 percent to $5.6 billion, with the tier’s overall revenue share dropping by 0.4 percentage points to 7.1 percent. All other tiers in the top 1,000 grossing games saw no change in their revenue share.
When it comes to the top 10 revenue generating mobile games worldwide, player spending rose by about 34 percent Y/Y to $13.7 billion, with the top titles increasing their revenue share by 1 percentage point to 17.2 percent of overall player spending. However, this is down from a revenue share of 20.4 percent in 2017.
Our analysis shows that the mobile games market is growing for everyone and not just the world’s top blockbusters. In the U.S. last year, all tiers outside of the top 100 revenue generating games saw their revenue share increase, while also growing faster than the top games Y/Y. Globally, however, the top 100 titles saw some of the strongest growth in player spending, while being the only tier to increase its revenue share. This could, in part, be attributed to some of Asia’s heavy hitters like Honor of Kings from Tencent, Monster Strike from Mixi, and Lineage M from NCSoft, as well as global successes like Pokémon GO from Niantic, Roblox from Roblox Corporation and PUBG Mobile from Tencent, all mammoth hits far beyond the scale of most other titles on the market. Ultimately, though, player spending is up for everyone, and it’s a trend that looks set to continue.
Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence platform is an Enterprise level offering. Interested in learning more?