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Record-Breaking 8 Mobile Games Surpass $1 Billion

purity muriuki



black sony ps 4 game controller on brown wooden table

As a gamer it is so joyful to see that so many people are into gaming now. Since the inception of smartphones gaming world has seen the most of financial advancement.

Did you know that according to Newzoo more than 50% of $175 billion revenue in video games industry comes now from only mobile gaming?

And by the end of 2030 it is estimated that the mobile gaming industry will be having an annual revenue of around $272 billion!

Yeah, it seems after the launch of all these powerful phones gaming has evolved so much on your handhelds and it is consuming more and more people every year.

According to one study done, the overall consumer spending for mobile games has touched $7.4B in just one monthin 2021 with a growth rate of 12.6% every year!

In 2019 there were only 3 games that crossed over $1 billion mark, in 2020 there were 5 and then in 2021 there were 8.


These are some of the most upbeat, euphoric data showing evolution of video games and people who enjoy video games on a large scale.

Not as large as those undergarments they have been making since 1999 in the hopes of covering the alps on your mom’s bosom but still it’s something.

If you are a gamer like me from the early days of NES and Dial-Up Internet then the most you would ever hear about video games in news articles would be about how this game caused that kid to murder his whole town.

Or those yawning list of video games that got banned in various countries for the most asinine reasons you could ever hear.

And look where we are now! Here are those 8 games and the ‘honorable mentions’ who touched the $1 billion revenue mark in 2021.

  1.PUBG Mobile

There came a movie in 2000 from where else but Japan where a bunch of school kids are made to kill each other in a deserted island and the last one to survive wins.

Some nerd saw an inspiration in that and made PUBG (Player Unknown Battleground) and now it has made $2.8 billion this past year.

It’s a game from Tencent team. PUBG is named Battleground Mobile in India and Game for Peace in China after being banned there.

So why are they still available there? Search me, guess that’s how banning works now.

It has sold over 75 million copies for PC and consoles and has 1 billion downloads as of March 2021.


   2.Honor of Kings

Another game from Tencent.  It is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game released in 2015. It is the highest grossing mobile game of all time and it is the most downloaded app around the world.

By the end of November 2020, it had over 100 million active players daily.

You and your teammates select different characters with unique abilities and form a team and land in a pre-defined arena to face another douche and his team.

And this somehow swooped the whole world. It made $2.8 billion in 2021. Well, anyway…


   3.Genshin Impact

GI is from miHoYo and it crossed $1.8 billion last year.

If you know anything about video games then you know about Zelda games. And if you know anything about Zelda games then you know about Breath of the Wild.

GI is BOTW for mobiles. It has a lush anime style open world where you perform all kinds of adventures like in a RPG game with a huge set of enticing female characters. And some male ones too.

Basically, it’s an eye candy game with some solid gameplay and regular updates which keeps the player based glued with the many things you can do in here.

It’s a gacha game meaning you either perform arduous tasks and skill up or you buy random powerful abilities by spending the in-game money which you get by spending the real-world money.

It’s ingenious.



Made by Roblox Corporation, it earned $1.3 billion in 2021. Roblox is to games what YouTube is to videos. A small percentage of Roblox users create games inside it and sell it other users which is the larger audience.

Remember that movie ‘Free Guy’ where Ryan Reynold’s character is in an online gaming world, Roblox is something like that only everyone looks like a lego model with cool hats instead of Hollywood phonies.

Roblox saw some huge peak in its popularity due to Covid-19 restrictions all around and now in the US over half of all the children under 16 have played this game.

   5.Coin Master

It’s another f(r)ee game developed by an Israeli studio called Moon Active and it cashed in $1.3 billion last year. In this game you build your village by upgrading various items through coins you win.

It’s sort of a gambling game where players spin to get coins, you can only spin 7 times per hour and yes, of course, you can buy more spins if you spend actual money.

As of February 2021, it has had over 100 million of downloads and is the top grossing mobile game in Germany and UK.


    6.Bloody Pokémon Go!

Yes! Pokémon Go! From 2016 made all the buzz for all kinds of good and bad reasons when it got released. It’s an AR game developed by Niantic along with The Pokemon Company and Nintendo.

In this one, you will see pokemons all over your neighborhood and anywhere you go in the world thanks to your GPS system making it feel like there is an actual Treecko just sitting near your Dad’s lawnmower.

It had 150 pokemons when it got launched and now it has around 700.

So, try catching them all without bumping into a car man.


    7.Candy Crush Saga

Ask your mom or any mom you can find nearby and you will know what this game is all about if you didn’t already.

Developed by King it’s a match three puzzle game where you swap around candies and try to make a match of three or more similar looking candies which earns you points.

It’s poor man’s Tetris but I don’t think Tetris ever made $1.2 billion in 2021 like CCS did.


    8.Garena Free Fire

Flatlay of Gaming Equipments

Or just Free Fire, this game is developed by 111dots studio and Garena published it.

It has the same play model as PUBG where 50 players jump into a personally chosen spot inside a battlefield and try to hunt for weapons and supplies to kill other players.

By May 2020 it had 80 million daily active players. In 2021 they launched Free Fire Max which is a graphically enhanced version of the same game.

It earned $1.1 billion in 2021.

Honorable Mention

Despite launching in the early 2021 and being solely available in Japan Uma Musume Pretty Derby (Cygames) is close to $965 million in earnings!


Despite how low everyone was expecting the gaming industry to develop in future market, thanks to so many people having two or three mobile phones the industry has now outclassed both music and movie industries in earnings.

And if you haven’t yet tried these games, well, you got to.


I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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