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, total global gaming revenues topped a whopping US$180.3 billion in 2021, with mobile gaming accounting for more than half of that amount.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the mobile gaming market is growing faster than any other gaming segment in the world. Newzoo estimates that consumer spending in 2021 helped the industry expand at a rate of more than 7.3 percent year-on-year to reach a market value of US$93.2 billion.
The rise of global smartphone sales, cloud gaming, 5G and mobile infrastructure are all core pillars behind this growth in revenues. Newzoo also points to COVID-19 lockdown measures as another main driver.
For its part, Research and Markets projects the mobile gaming market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent over the next decade to reach US$272 billion by 2030.
“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,” states the firm in a recent report on the industry.
“They compete with companies like Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCEHY,HKEX:0700), Sea (NYSE:SE) and Perfect World (SZSE:002624), which primarily focus on mobile gaming. Social media platforms (e.g., ByteDance) and online advertisers (e.g., AppLovin (NASDAQ:APP)) are also moving into mobile games publishing.”
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 that 74 cents of every dollar spent in app stores go to mobile games.
As the mobile 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 February 8, 2022.
Market cap: US$3.03 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 reportedly earns more annual revenues from gaming than Microsoft, Sony (NYSE:SONY,TSE:6758), Nintendo (TSE:7974) and Activision Blizzard combined, according to the Wall Street Journal, partially due to the fact that it takes a 30 percent cut of all game sales in its app store.
Market cap: US$2.28 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. It launched its xCloud cloud gaming platform in 2019; xCloud 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 a big play in the gaming space with a plan to acquire Activision Blizzard in a US$69 billion deal that would be the biggest in US tech deal to date. With hallmark games such as Candy Crush Saga and Hearthstone, Activision Blizzard has a long history in the mobile gaming market. Today Activision Blizzard’s biggest audience is mobile gamers, but it is also the gaming titan behind PC and console games World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty.
Market cap: US$1.84 trillion
In 2019, Alphabet, or Google as it is widely known, launched Stadia, a cloud gaming service that doesn’t require any special hardware that gamers don’t already own. A variety of games can be purchased in the Stadia store and then 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$627.7 billion
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming and chip units for mobile devices. It has a long history — with the invention of the GPU in 1999, NVIDIA spurred growth in the PC gaming market.
The company now has its own cloud gaming service known as GeForce Now. While hitherto available mainly on PC platforms, in 2022 NVIDIA is doing beta tests on offering games like Fortnite to gamers on iOS (via Safari) and Android apps. “Alongside the amazing team at Epic Games, we've been working to enable a touch-friendly version of Fortnite for mobile delivered through the cloud,” NVIDIA states in a press release.
5. Tencent Holdings
Market cap: US$591.27 billion
The world’s largest gaming company by revenue, Tencent Holdings released its PC emulator for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile in July 2019. It 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 and Hearthstone, with League of Legends having a monthly active player base of about 120 million.
Tencent Holdings is quietly planning to acquire Chinese gaming phone company Black Shark, which is currently focused on gaming-centric phones and hardware accessories.
Market cap: US$201.271 billion
A global leader in wireless technology, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)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,” Forbes reported.
Market cap: US$198.75 billion
Founded in 1968, multinational tech firm Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) 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, the company launched a series of new gaming-focused mobile processors and graphics cards, including the 12th Gen Intel Core family of mobile processors featuring the flagship Intel Core i9-12900HK. Intel calls the product “the fastest mobile processor ever and the world’s best mobile gaming platform.”
8. Electronic Arts
Market cap: US$38 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, EA launched an updated version of one of its best-selling mobile games: FIFA Mobile. Major updates include “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.”
Market cap: US$37.29 billion
Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) is the developer of online game platform and game creation system Roblox, which allows players to program their own games and play games created by other players.
According to research from App Annie, Roblox takes the grand prize for the most app store consumer spending on mobile gaming worldwide. “We believe world building games like ROBLOX are heading towards a new trend and that metaverse related mobile games are on target for $3.1 billion in annual spend,” states the research firm.
10. Take-Two Interactive
Market cap: US$19.52 billion
Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) 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. 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.
Take-Two’s Rockstar Games division acquired video game developer Ruffian Games in the fall of 2020. Renamed Rockstar Dundee, the studio has produced games such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Crackdown 2. In early January, Take-Two announced plans to buy mobile games giant Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) for US$12.7 billion.
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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