Chinese Mobile Games Perform Strongly in the US Market in Q1 2020

(Source: Freepik)

Mobile games created by Chinese developers continued gaining ground in the US market in the first quarter of 2020, with 19 titles making it to the top 100 highest-grossing list, generating a total revenue of $487 million across Apple’s App Store and Google Play, according to a report by analytics firm Sensor Tower.

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While the number of titles that made it to the Sensor Tower list in Q1 grew by only one compared to the previous quarter, revenues increased by 15.9% quarter on quarter, accounting for 16.3% of the total revenue from the top 100 games in the country for the period.

Three Chinese titles — Tencent’s battle royale shooter PUBG Mobile, FunPlus’s real-time strategy game Guns of Glory, and Lilith Games’ strategy title Rise of Kingdoms — made it to the top 20 highest-grossing games chart compiled by Sensor Tower.

PUBG Mobile and Guns of Glory, which have been on the chart for several consecutive quarters, saw their ranking rise by two places compared to the previous quarter to the 8th and 16th on the list, respectively.

Rise of Kingdoms recorded even more robust revenue growth for the first quarter, with revenues skyrocketing 71.5% quarter on quarter, propelling the title to become the second-highest-grossing Chinese title in the US in the first three months of 2020. Prior to this, Rise of Kingdoms was not even on the top 100 list.

Tencent’s Call of Duty: Mobile, which was the most downloaded Chinese title in the US for Q1 2020, dropped out of the top 20 highest-grossing games chart but remained the fourth most profitable Chinese title in the market for the period.

HyperGryph’s anime-themed tower defense game Arknights was a breakout hit in the period, making considerable headway in the US market where anime-themed games aren’t mainstream. Launched in January, the game generated $12 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2020, or 22% of the title’s overall revenue in overseas markets, rivaling that of heavyweights like Fate/Grand Order after being in the US market for close to a full year.

Similar to China, the US mobile game market boomed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Revenues from mobile games across App Store and Google Play grew 21.4% year on year and 4.8% quarter on quarter to $4.54 billion. Game downloads from the two app marketplaces also increased 24.6% year on year reaching 1.4 billion.