So SuperDataResearch released their numbers for digital game sales for 2015. According to the data, League of Legends from Riot Games was the #1 grossing game in the world at $1.6 billion, but I don’t think anyone should find that surprising. The game has experienced explosive growth since its initial launch in October, 2009. The data was broken down into 3 categories showing off the top 10 digital games for console, PC, and, mobile. Given that I play mostly mobile games, I found some of the data points intriguing. The only big surprise on the list was Rune Story from Colopl, because it launched on October 21, 2015 in the West and still made it to the top 10.
The most intriguing point is that Clash of Clans from Supercell maintained it’s #1 spot as the top grossing mobile game in the world with $1.3B in revenue. This figure is by itself isn’t that surprising, as it took the #1 spot in 2014 as well. This year the gap between the #1 spot and #2 spot widened with Game of War taking that spot with $799M in revenue. So apparently the transition from the much more desirable Kate Upton to Mariah Carey didn’t hurt sales as much as I thought it would. Joking aside though, I find it remarkable that these mobile strategy games continue to perform as well as they are. I’ve always been a fan of strategy games since I first played Starcraft in 1999, but these mobile strategy games don’t do it for me. They’re all way too pay to win for my taste. Supercell had a second game on the top 10 list this year: Boom Beach. I’ve never actually played Boom Beach, but I’ve seen their ads all over the place. They brought in $297 million in 2015, which gives them plenty of room to advertise.
The only game on the top 10 list I don’t immediately recognize is Fantasy Westward Journey. It’s a game I’ve heard of, but I’m pretty sure it’s not even available in the U.S. It’s published by Netease, China’s second largest game developer and publisher after Tencent. Every game on the top 10 list is available globally except for Fantasy Westward Journey. Puzzle & Dragon and Monster Strike make their money all over the place, but Fantasy Westward Journey makes all $451 million it earned in 2015 from China alone. That’s impressive.
Supercell was the big winner of 2015 though. Between its 2 major games it earned ~$1.6B. If you throw in the numbers from Supercell earned from its other games that didn’t make it in the top 10, they probably earned close to $2B company wide. Given their huge success with strategy games, I suspect they will continue to churn out new games within that genre. I’d like to see them do something different though. The mobile game market has enough strategy games as is. I’d like to see them do something innovative. Maybe a MOBA like Vainglory? SuperEvil Mega Corp has proven that there is a market for mobile MOBAs. Even an MMORPG like Age of Wushu Dynasty could work – only because there aren’t any REALLY big mobile MMORPGs in the west.
I wonder what games we’ll see on the top 10 list next year. Supercell was 2015s big winner.