In Q1, 'Candy Crush' Outgrosses All Nintendo Games Combined

By Peter Warman

Posted May 28, 2014

Analysis of Newzoo’s latest ranking of public companies by game revenue reveals healthy industry growth, positive impact of next-gen consoles and continued rise of mobile game companies. The top 25 companies generated $12.9 billion in the first quarter of 2014 compared to $11.6 billion a year ago, an upwards jump of +11%. Microsoft and Sony both showed steady year-on-year growth in game revenues, following successful launches of their next-gen offerings, and continued revenues from current-gen games.

King’s public debut puts it ahead of Nintendo
King’s $641million turnover puts it just behind Apple at number 7, based on its first quarter as a public company and debut in the Newzoo ranking. To put this performance into perspective: King generated 56% more game revenues than Nintendo, ranked at number 10, in the first quarter of 2014. Its flagship title, Candy Crush Saga, generates around two-thirds of King’s revenues which alone is more than all Nintendo game earnings in the first quarter put together. Of course, Nintendo’s strong fourth quarter is still to come but chances are in favor of King to end up above Nintendo for the full 2014 calendar year.

Change of power in Japan
Japanese mobile game powerhouses DeNA and GREE both reported significant dips in revenues at -27% and -18% respectively. On their way down the charts, they witnessed GungHo rocket past them proudly boasting a +61% year-on-year increase and almost half a billion dollars in quarterly revenues. The next in line is COLOPL, the second newcomer in the rankings at position 21, following a quarter that gave them close to the same revenues as the full year of 2013. Of the traditional Japanese publishers, Square Enix (+20%) and SEGA (+8%) outperformed Namco Bandai (0%) and Konami (-9%). Everything said and done, Japanese companies generated an impressive 31% of the revenues generated by the top 25 companies. US- and Chinese-based companies took 40% and 17% respectively, leaving 12% for the rest of the world. 

Disney matches Tencent’s growth
Tencent’s growth seems unstoppable with the Chinese giant up +40% year-over-year and generating revenues of over $1.7 billion in the first three months of 2014. Remarkably, Tencent’s absolute y-o-y quarterly revenue growth of $488 million, is higher than the total quarterly revenues of Korea’s number one game publisher Nexon. Disney Interactive had a solid quarter with a year-over-year growth similar to that of Tencent: +38%. This growth was driven by strong relatively new Disney IPs such as Disney Infinity, Star Wars and Marvel. Notably absent from the charts are Zynga and Shanda Games. Zynga dropped out of the top 25 based on first quarter results and Shanda Games is yet to report its results.

Newzoo’s Rankings of the top 25 Public Companies can be found here.


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