These 5 mobile games pulled in more than $1 billion each in 2020

These 5 mobile games pulled in more than $1 billion each in 2020


Who needs ‘Fortnite’ when ‘PUBG Mobile’ is an out to get a significant upgrade?
PUBG Mobile was the year's big winner.
Photo: Tencent Mobile

The world may have struggled in 2020, but life’s been good on the App Store — and especially if you’re the makers of PUBG Mobile, Honor of Kings, Pokémon GO, Coin Master, and Roblox.

Those five mobile games all broke $1 billion in takings in 2020, across both iOS and Android. The first two, both made by Tencent, managed to break through the $2 billion barrier, claims a report from app analytics platform Sensor Tower.

PUBG Mobile was the year’s biggest hit. Combined with the Chinese version of PUBG, titled Game For Peace, it raked in nearly $2.6 billion. That’s an increase of 64.3 percent from last year. Honor of Kings, meanwhile, increased nearly 43 percent to $2.5 billion in player spending.

Games in 2020
Figures are based on both the App Store and Google Play.
Photo: Sensor Tower

The third game on the list is a reminder of just how impressive Pokémon GO has continued to be. While the game enjoyed its most publicity ever with its 2016 launch, it has proven to be a true evergreen hit. This year, it enjoyed its best-ever year — topping 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Last year, Pokémon Go pulled in $894 million in player spending.

The last two entries, Coin Master and Roblox, were also extremely impressive. Securing $1.1 billion apiece, both approximately doubled their 2019 takings. That’s extremely impressive, and neither game looks like they’re slowing down any time soon.

The list doesn’t break down revenue according to iOS and Google Play. However, it’s worth noting that — despite losing out on market share in many places — iOS still managed to outperform Android when it comes to generating the most revenue. In other words, iOS owners spend more on average.

The App Store boomed in 2020

The triumph of the App Store in 2020 isn’t a massive surprise. More people stuck at home, with less to go out and spend their money on, turns out to have been good news for developers. Developers got an early holiday gift this year, too, when Apple slashed its App Store commissions in half for many developers.

Even if life gets back to a semblance of normalcy in 2021, that alone should mean more folks than ever are keen to embrace the App Store as a way to get their titles out and into the eager hands of the general public.

Did you enjoy any of these games in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.