When it comes to big moneymakers in the video game industry, some might think that Electronic Arts and Activision are the most dominant companies. However, a report from market research firm NewZoo indicates there’s actually a new leader when it comes to the billions of dollars made worldwide — and it’s none other than Chinese company Tencent.
The chart is based entirely on software revenues from games (including DLC, in-game revenues, and so on), with gaming hardware (i.e., consoles or handheld consoles) left out. It’s also worth noting that this data is only tracking public companies, so privately-held firms that might otherwise be in the top 25 companies (like Supercell, Riot, Valve, or Wargaming) are not listed.
Tencent actually makes more money than is shown, but that additional revenue is from non-game products. The company, who holds a majority stake in League of Legends developer Riot Games, as well as Gears of War developer Epic Games, has managed to increase its yearly earnings staggeringly well over the past year, going up from 2013’s reported $2.5 billion to 2014’s $3.5 billion — a huge leap compared to the other companies on the list. (Note also that revenues from Tencent’s investments in Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, and Epic Games do not contribute to the Tencent’s revenue.)
EA and Activision are closely behind in second and third, however. EA has managed to see a slight increase from $2.2 to $2.3 billion year-over-year, while Activision Blizzard has seen a slight drop from $2.4 to $2.1 billion over the past twelve months.
Other companies on the list include the following, as well as their year-over-year results:
Fourth: Sony, $1.7 billion to $2.0 billion
Fifth: Microsoft, even at $2.0 billion
Sixth: Apple, rising from $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion
Seventh: Google seeing double the rate from $0.7 billion to $1.4 billion
Eighth: King, the developers of Candy Crush Saga, increasing from $0.7 to $1.2 billion
Ninth: GungHo, slightly increasing from $0.7 to $0.9 billion
Tenth: Nexon, holding about even at $0.8 billion
The industry as a whole has seen a revenue increase, up 17 percent from the previous year.
“The top 25 companies generated over $25 billion in the first half of 2014, an impressive jump of $3 billion, or 17 percent, compared to same period in 2013,” reads NewZoo’s report. “Apple’s rise to No. 6 [on the list] is a testament to the continuing strong impact mobile games are having on the gaming industry. The impressive growth, bolstered by increasing smartphone and tablet usage in emerging markets, is doubly revealed by Google rising five places to take No. 7.”
Nintendo of America, suffering from financial woes over the lack of success of its Wii U console (which it hopes to change when it releases Super Smash Bros. later this year), came in a close 11th, with around $806 million for the year. It’s a sign of how slowly that Nintendo has been releasing major games in the last few years, which is something the company needs to fix if it wants to boost hardware sales.