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42 Chinese Mobile Games Earned More Than 100 Million USD in 2021, the US Becomes The Largest Overseas Market

Genshin Impact has been a pivoting star for China’s mobile games in 2021.
By Weilin Li
Jan. 22, 2022 updated 12:37

According to mobile app data analysis firm Sensor Tower, there are 42 Chinese mobile games that earned more than 100 million USD from overseas markets in 2021, five more than in 2020. The Unites States has replaced Japan as the largest overseas market of revenue for Chinese mobile games. Generally, the pandemic has not impeded the revenue growth of global mobile game market last year.

The top 5 most profitable Chinese mobile games are Genshin Impact by miHoYo, PUBG MOBILE by Tencent, State of Survival by FunPlus, Rise of Kingdoms by Lilith Games, and Call of Duty: Mobile by Tencent and Activision Blizzard. In the meantime, 6-year-old Lords Mobile by IGG increased 56% year-on-year in revenue. Puzzles & Survival 37 Interactive Entertainment becomes rare new title on the list of top 30. Three Kingdoms Strategy Edition, popular in domestic scene, ranked 14th on the list. 

A list of the top 30 profitable games by Chinese developers in 2021.A list of the top 30 profitable games by Chinese developers in 2021.

The total revenue of top 30 profitable Chinese mobile games on App Store and Google Play reaches 11.5 billion USD, up 24% year-on-year from 9.24 billion USD in 2020 and a 1.8 times figure compared with that in 2019.

Another highlight from report is that in September 2021, miHoYo’s Genshin Impact broke the record of monthly highest revenue on the overseas markets, as the game generated 230 million USD that month, when it marked the game’s one-year anniversary.

The US has become the biggest overseas market for China, as the revenue from there contributed to 3.6 billion USD of revenue received by Chinese game publishers last year, a 53% increase from that in 2020. In 2020, it was Japan that was at the first place in such type of ranking.

In Japanese market, Genshin Impact, Knives Out and four other titles entered the list of top 20 profitable games, 2 more than in 2020.

Globally, mobile game players spent 88.5 billion USD for games on App Store and Google Play, up 11.2% from that in 2020.