Mobile Gaming Stocks: 10 Biggest Companies in 2023
The mobile gaming industry is growing rapidly, outpacing the PC market. Learn about the top mobile gaming companies here.
According to market intelligence firm Newzoo, global gaming revenue topped a whopping US$184.4 billion in 2022, with mobile gaming accounting for about half of that amount at US$92.2 billion.
The mobile gaming market is growing faster than any other gaming segment in the world, even though consumer spending fell last year due to increasing economic uncertainty. The rise of global smartphone sales, cloud gaming, 5G and mobile infrastructure are all core pillars that will sustain growth in mobile gaming revenue in the years ahead.
In fact, SkyQuest Technology Consulting projects that the mobile gaming market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.88 percent to reach US$214.61 billion by 2028. “Traditional console and PC game publishers like Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) are increasingly focused on mobile gaming due to its popularity with gamers worldwide and lucrative revenue opportunities," the firm states in a recent report on the industry.
Going forward, SkyQuest views cloud gaming as one of the most impactful trends in the mobile gaming market. "Cloud gaming services allow gamers to play games without needing to download them onto their device, making them much more accessible. We expect that over half of all mobile gamers will be using cloud gaming services by 2028," the outlet explains in its report.
Mobile games are typically accessed through three core operating systems: Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android. Notably, 21 percent of Android and 25 percent of iOS apps downloaded are games, and gaming accounts for 43 percent of all smartphone use, according Techjury. Even more compelling is the fact that 74 cents of every dollar spent in app stores go to mobile games.
For investors interested in getting exposure to mobile gaming as the market gains momentum, here’s a look at the top 10 mobile gaming companies by market cap. All data and figures were accurate as of January 10, 2023.
Market cap: US$2.06 trillion
Apple launched its video game subscription service Apple Arcade in March 2019. Offering a wide selection of mobile games, Apple Arcade provides in-house game development and features acclaimed brands and game developers. Apple Arcade offers over 100 games on which the company works intimately with creators.
Apple earns more annual revenue from gaming than Microsoft, Sony (NYSE:SONY,TSE:6758), Nintendo (TSE:7974) and Activision Blizzard combined, as per the Wall Street Journal, partially because it takes a 30 percent cut of all game sales in its app store.
Market cap: US$1.7 trillion
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.
Aside from that, the company's xCloud cloud gaming platform, launched in 2019, allows users to play a large curated library of games on browsers and mobile as long as they have a subscription and Bluetooth controller.
In January 2022, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a US$69 billion deal — the biggest US tech play to date. With hallmark games such as Candy Crush Saga and Hearthstone, Activision Blizzard has a long history in the mobile gaming market. The company's biggest audience is mobile gamers, but it's also the gaming titan behind PC and console games like World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty. For now, however, Microsoft's acquisition is facing major regulatory hurdles, including from the UK Competition and Markets Authority and the US Federal Trade Commission. As a result, some experts have soured on the deal.
Market cap: US$1.15 trillion
In 2019, Alphabet, known widely as Google, launched Stadia, a cloud gaming service that doesn’t require any special hardware. A variety of games can be purchased in the Stadia store and played via Wi-Fi and wired internet connections.
However, Stadia was not as successful as Alphabet had hoped. The company is now reportedly moving toward more streaming technology partnerships with game publishers, dubbing its white label offering Google Stream.
Market cap: US$439.67 billion
Tencent Holdings is the world’s largest gaming company by revenue. In terms of mobile, Tencent's PC emulator for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile allows users to play the mobile game on their PCs. The multiplayer battle royale game is available on Android and iOS. Tencent also owns games such as League of Legends, with League of Legends having a monthly active player base of about 180 million. League of Legends' mobile spinoff League of Legends: Wild Rift has drawn a growing player base as well.
The company is now using its strong mobile gaming expertise to build up its AAA and console gaming business segment in order to better compete with western gaming companies.
Market cap: US$385.36 billion
NVIDIA designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming and chip units for mobile devices. The company has a long history — with the invention of the GPU in 1999, NVIDIA spurred growth in the PC gaming market. While hitherto available mainly on PC platforms, in 2022 NVIDIA brought games such as Fortnite to gamers on iOS and Android apps.
The company now has its own cloud gaming service known as GeForce Now. In 2022, NVIDIA partnered with AT&T (NYSE:T) to give AT&T 5G network customers access to GeForce Now games. In 2023, the pair will extend the offering to AT&T fiber customers.
Market cap: US$129.57 billion
A global leader in wireless technology, Qualcomm has been driving the development and adoption of 5G technology. The company takes credit for the birth of mobile internet tech: “When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born.”
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon-branded mobile platforms power many of the top high-end gaming devices, such as Xiaomi (OTC Pink:XIACF,HKEX:1810), ASUS, Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930), ZTE (SZSE:000063) and Razer (OTC Pink:RAZFF,HKEX:1337). “Over the course of the last decade or so, Qualcomm has increased the performance of its mobiles GPUs by approximately 700X,” notes Forbes.
In December 2022, the company made Samsung the official smartphone partner for its Snapdragon Pro Series, a leading esports competition for multiple mobile games, such as League of Legends: Wild Rift, Brawl Stars, PUBG, Clash of Clans and Free Fire.
Market cap: US$120.37 billion
Founded in 1968, multinational tech firm Intel is one of the world’s most profitable semiconductor chip manufacturers. It produces microprocessors that power many of the world’s PCs and mobile devices.
Recently, Intel launched a series of new gaming-focused mobile processors and graphics cards, including the 13th Gen Intel Core family of mobile processors featuring the company's flagship Intel Core i9-12900HK. Intel calls the product “the fastest mobile processor ever and the world’s best mobile gaming platform.”
Market cap: US$60.73 billion
California-based Activision Blizzard’s immense portfolio boasts popular games built around community building and user experience, such as Candy Crush Saga, Major League Gaming, World of Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
King Digital Entertainment, the department that designs the company’s mobile games, is just one of its five operating units. The revenue generated by this mobile gaming division is the biggest driver of the company’s total revenue.
Market cap: US$34.05 billion
Electronic Arts is a leading esports company. Its video game offerings cover many genres, from sports to action/adventure to role playing to family games. Among others, the California-headquartered company owns key titles such as the the Sims, Madden NFL, FIFA, Battlefield, Need for Speed, Dragon Age and Plants vs. Zombies.
In January 2022, Electronic Arts launched an updated version of one of its best-selling mobile games: FIFA Mobile. Major updates included “a sweeping overhaul and an array of enhancements to gameplay, visuals, and audio, improving its authentic and best-in-class gameplay experience for gamers and football fans around the world.” For the year, Electronic Arts' three top revenue-generating mobile games were Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, FIFA Soccer and Golf Clash.
Market cap: US$18.92 billion
Roblox is the developer of the online game platform and game creation system Roblox, which allows players to program their own games and play games created by other players. The company's platform currently boasts about 12 million creators and roughly 45.5 million daily active users across 180 countries.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, mobile devices account for 75 percent of Roblox's user sessions, and 26 percent of the company's user base is aged nine to 12 years old.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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