Tencent’s multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title “Honor of Kings” grossed nearly $2 billion in 2018, making it the highest grossing mobile game of the year, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower.
The game made more than $1.93 billion in 2018, not including revenue from third-party Android stores in China and elsewhere, Sensor Tower said. That’s a 20% increase in player spending compared to the $1.61 billion it earned in 2017. “Honor of Kings” made nearly $5.3 million per day last year, with about 95% of that spending coming from iOS users in China. Other international versions of the game accounted for only 1.7% of revenue, while the U.S. accounted for less than one percent.
“Honor of Kings” first launched on Android and iOS in Taiwan in 2016 but has since spread to other regions and platforms. It’s called “Arena of Valor” in the West and received a Nintendo Switch port last year that reportedly reached one million downloads in less than three months. It’s the first Tencent game to ever make the leap from mobile to console.
“This is a very important milestone for not only the game, but also for us as a publisher coming to the West,” Edward Gan, product manager for the game at Tencent, told Variety in a recent interview. “We’ve been able to take a game from its mobile roots and redevelop it for the Nintendo Switch, the first of its kind mobile home console, and I believe that gamers saw this natural fit which has resonated through their adoption of the game.”
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To date, “Honor of Kings” has made a global gross revenue (not including third-party Android stores) of more than $4.2 billion. But, it was only one of a legion of Asian mobile games that dominated global revenue for the category, Sensor Tower said. Sixty-two of the top 100 grossing mobile games in 2018 came from that continent and accounted for 66% of the revenue generated.