Honor of Kings Defeats PUBG MOBILE, Back on Top of Mobile Games Revenue Worldwide

Tencent’s mobile game Honor of Kings generated over $240 million in total revenue in September, becoming the top revenue generator of worldwide mobile games, according to a report by Sensor Tower. The game also achieved an increase of 87% year-over-year compared to September 2019. In addition, players from China contributed close to 96% of that total revenue.

The second game on the list, PUBG MOBILE, is also by Tencent Games, but under a different name in China: Peacekeeper Elite. The game generated $1.3 billion in 2020, and over $3 billion in lifetime revenue.

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The other three games in the top five for mobile games revenue are Moon Active’s Coin Master, Mixi’s Monster Strike, and Niantic’s Pokemon GO.

PUBG MOBILE and Peacekeeper Elite generated over $198 million in September, which was up 13.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Chinese players are still the biggest customer of the game, contributing 56.7% of the total revenue, while US players came in second, contributing 12.4%.

In fact, it was predicted that Honor of Kings would surpass PUBG MOBILE in revenue due to the Indian government banning the game along with 117 other Chinese applications on Sept. 1. On Sept. 4, Tencent reported a nearly $42 billion loss in market value in just two days following the Indian government releasing its ban list.

India was the biggest market for PUBG MOBILE. In July, India was reported contributing 175 million downloads, or 24% of the total downloads (734 million), followed by China with 16.7%.

On the global scale, PUBG MOBILE and its Indian players will continue to suffer from the government ban. In China, both Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite achieved remarkable esports plans. Chinese social media Weibo and short-form video platform Kuaishou acquired franchise slots in China’s top Honor of Kings competition, King Pro League (KPL), while Peace Elite League (PEL) Season 3 featured 21 million yuan ($3 million) as the highest prize money for an esports seasonal league in China.