The mobile gaming industry is growing rapidly, nearly outpacing the PC market. Here’s a look at some of the leading companies in this space.
According to Newzoo, mobile gaming has accounted for 45 percent of total gaming revenues worldwide so far in 2019. By 2022, the firm projects that the mobile gaming industry will reach a global market size of US$95.4 billion.
The mobile gaming market is growing faster than any other gaming segment in the world. The rise of global smartphone sales, 5G and mobile infrastructure are all core pillars behind its revenue growth.
Between 2018 and 2022, the mobile gaming market is anticipated to grow at a 9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), just shy of the 9.7 percent CAGR for consoles. PC online gaming is expected to show signs of slowed growth as the smartphone market expands.
Grandview Research states that the primary propellers behind mobile gaming revenue growth are advertisement, game purchases and in-app purchases. Mobile games are typically accessed through three core operating systems (OS): Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Windows and Android.
As the mobile market gains momentum, here the Investing News Network takes a look at the top eight mobile gaming companies, ranked in order of market cap. The list was compiled using Investing.com’s stock screener, with numbers and figures accurate as of market close on August 9, 2019.
1. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Market cap: US$1.05 trillion; current share price: US$140.77
Microsoft operates Xbox Game Studios, formerly known as Microsoft Studios, which encompasses 15 independent gaming studios. Rebranded in February 2019, Xbox Game Studios owns Minecraft, Halo, Kung Fu Chaos and Age of Empires. Microsoft will allow Xbox games to be transferable from console to mobile through xCloud and will focus on titles like Forza Horizon 4 to usher in this transition.
2. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Market cap: US$908.31 billion; current share price: US$200.99
As the second top mobile gaming company by market cap, Apple launched its Apple Arcade in March 2019. Offering a wide selection of mobile games, Apple Arcade provides in-house game development, acclaimed brands and renowned game developers. Apple’s app store services over 1 billion gaming users, generating US$120 million for gaming developers to date.
The new Apple Arcade is designed to create a platform of over 100 games on which the company works intimately with creators and game developers.
3. Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCEHY)
Market cap: US$410.31 billion; current share price: US$42.99
Tencent released its PC emulator for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUGB) Mobile in July 2019. It allows users to play the mobile game on their PCs. PUGB Mobile is the company’s most popular game, according to monthly active users. The multiplayer battle royale game is available on Android and iOS.
Tencent also owns games such as League of Legends and Hearthstone. As one of the leading esports studios in the world, League of Legends creator Riot Games has sold franchises for US$10 million.
In March, Riot Games announced it was working on mobile app development for its League of Legends series; it had previously rejected making a mobile version of the game in 2015.
As a behemoth mobile games company, in 2018 Tencent generated US$11.59 billion from its mobile games segment as growth in its smartphones and tablets division grew 24 percent year-over-year.
4. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)
Market cap: US$36.81 billion; current share price: US$48.06
With hallmark games including Candy Crush and Hearthstone, Activision Blizzard has a long history in the mobile gaming market. As the gaming titan behind PC and console games World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty, Activision Blizzard has had an interesting history in trying to transition some of these games onto mobile. According to Pocket Gamer, Activision Blizzard has released and then canceled at least 20 mobile games.
The company states that its broadest audience is mobile gamers. According to the Games Industry, the company hopes to develop mobile versions and cross-platform versions of its console games. Call of Duty: Mobile is anticipated to be released in 2019.
5. Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO)
Market cap: US$14.59 billion; current share price: US$128.87
Take-Two Interactive has an extensive mobile game portfolio, owning studios that exclusively produce mobile games. For example, Take-Two owns Social Point, a gaming studio based in Barcelona, Spain. In May, Social Point announced plans to launch the word puzzle mobile game Word Life. It has previously produced Tasty Town, Dragon City and the Monster Legends mobile games.
Among its suite of mobile games are NBA 2K, WWE 2K and World Poker Tour. NBA 2K is built with advanced graphics and allows users to select an all-star team and play in five-on-five basketball matches.
6. iQIYI (NASDAQ:IQ)
Market cap: US$12.51 billion; current share price: US$17.21
IQIYI, a Chinese conglomerate, has issued in excess of 5,000 online games. In March 2019, it launched its first mobile game in partnership with DreamWorks; it was based off of the 2013 film The Croods. After its launch, it skyrocketed to become the top free mobile app on iOS in China.
According to MarketWatch, The Croods mobile game reached 500,000 downloads during one day and rose to become among the top grossing mobile games in China. The game was created in partnership with Digital Platforms and Universal Games.
7. Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA)
Market cap: US$5.73 billion; current share price: US$6.09
FarmVille creator Zynga is a mobile and web game company with over 1 billion users. Words with Friends, its other popular game, allows users to compete against Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) friends in a word play game. In August 2019, Zynga collaborated with Alec Baldwin to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Zynga is based in San Francisco and has operations in countries such as Turkey, Finland and India.
8. Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI)
Market cap: US$5.29 billion; current share price: US$140.77
China’s Bilibili is an anime gaming company that spans across mobile, media and live broadcasting operations. Its mobile division has monthly active users reaching over 88 million, with 1 million of these being monthly active paying users.
Bilibili has acquired a number of exclusive rights for mobile gaming content. In June 2019, Bilibili obtained the rights to the anime mobile game The Three-Body Problem, based off of an acclaimed science fiction novel in China published in 2006.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.