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How Do Gaming Companies Make Money?

ยท 9 min read

How do gaming companies earn Most of the time, people brainstorm how gaming companies are earning money and how they are performing better than the music and cinema industry in terms of revenue generation.

If you also had asked this question before or tried to unveil the gaming industry revenue secrets from game developers but didn't get an accurate answer. So, this reading will help you to learn much about the gaming industry. Moreover, it would also let you know the basic module of game revenue generation sources and how gaming companies earn while offering Free to Play games.

Before diving into the pool of information about revenue generation of the gaming industry, let's know the purpose of the gaming industry and how it works?

It is a known fact that video games fulfil the purpose of life, which includes gaming for:enjoyment, creativity, socialization, relaxation, opportunities to exert control, prevent boredom, challenge, and achievement.

Furthermore, the gaming industry is doing far better than other tech industries because of its vitality in culture, entertainment and technological advancement. More than three billion people use to play video games on different sets of screen like PC, console and mobile.

Top 7 Earning Models for Online Games

There are several ways to make money with online games; however, it totally depends on the gaming company, how they want to earn from their games? They can sell their games, or sell subscriptions, Freemium, in-game assets, or can make it far better with "Free to Play" model using ads for revenue generation. Here, we have mentioned some of the proven earning models of the gaming industry.

Subscription (Monthly/ Quarterly / Yearly)

The subscription model is the easiest revenue generation model for gaming companies. Using this model, game developers can earn targeted income. This model is based on a subscription the user must purchase to play their games. Typically it works with a Free-to-play model that allows new users to try the game, then users are liable to pay the subscription fee on a monthly basis or more to get full access to the game.

Freemium Games

Freemium subscription is the same type of subscription-based game; however, these games have some limitations that cannot be played or reach a higher level without purchasing the Premium version of the game.

Game Box

Game box or box sale is one of the traditional models to make revenue as these boxed version games are sold for a fixed amount for lifetime play. Guild Wars sold it: this model is common among team shooters like TF2, COD: MW2, and more.

In Game Advertising

Game developers also place in-game ad sections in their games to get revenue from Pay-Per-View ads. These games are also developed with interstitial ad features for example, the user has to view an ad to get one more chance. However, this cannot be a regular income source for every game as Google requires a high number of visitors for monetization.

Types of Ads:-

Banners Ads:- A rectangular ad can be placed at the top or bottom of the game screen.

Interstitial Ads:- Interstitial ads wraps the entire screen to grab the gamer's attention.

Video Ads:- Video ads are used as rewards in the game (e.g., free lives, new game items, etc.).

Game Asset Store

Game developers also offer in-game asset purchase options, where players can purchase different game assets or avatars. Moreover, many developers incorporate virtual currency in their games.The in-game virtual currency has a fixed exchange rate with real-world currency, and can be exchanged both ways. Entropia Universe is the game that introduced this concept for the first time.

Game Distribution

Game distribution is also a popular game revenue generation module. Game Developers earn money by distributing their games to other websites or game portals as it has become an enormous component for a lot of websites that are used to drive traffic and retain them with different strategies.

Play to Earn Games

Play to Earn or P2E is a newly introduced game revenue model which incorporate with blockchain elements such as NFTs. In these games, players are incentivized to use NFTs to their game performance, which helps create new NFTs.These games require upfront payment by the player to get started. However, the user has to purchase either cryptocurrency used in the game or in-game currency that they can later trade out.

Within this heading, we have informed you about game revenue models and how they work. In the next section, we will mention the top 10 earning games in the world. So, keep an eye and learn with us.

Top 10 Earning Games in the World

The list of top 10 earning games in the World with additional information: revenue, launching year and the name of the gaming studio. So, without taking your extra minutes, let's start the countdown.

Honor of Kings ($14,667,500,000)

Honor of Kings, the highest-grossing mobile game on Google Play and App Store designed by Tencent's Group, has accumulated $14,667,500,000. Its initial launch took place on November 26, 2015.

Monster Strike ($9,912,000,000)

Monster Strike game launched on August 8, 2013. It is a multiplayer role-playing game with puzzles and strategy. The game is owned by Mixi and has generated $9,912,000,000..

Puzzle & Dragons ($8,578,340,000)

Puzzle & Dragons is one of the top-performing games, with over 65% of the subgenre's revenue. Puzzle & Dragon game was launched on February 20, 2012 by GungHo Online Entertainment and earned $8,578,340,000.

PubG Mobile ($8,424,300,000)

PubG Mobile is one of the most popular games in Asia developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio, a division of Tencent Games. The game's initial release took place on March 19, 2018, and has now made $8,424,300,000.

Clash of Clans ($8,000,000,000)

Clash of Clans is a mobile-based strategy video game and is a product of Supercell. It was initially released for the iOS device on August 2, 2012, and then Google Play for Android on October 7, 2013. This game works on the free-to-play model and has generated $8,000,000,000 in revenue.

Pokemon Go ($7,760,000,000)

Niantic's game Pokemon Go is one of the most popular games worldwide due to its Augmented reality feature in mobile games. It was launched for iOS and Android devices on July 6, 2016, and has bagged $7,760,000,000.

Candy Crush Saga ($7,456,000,000)

Candy Crush Saga is the game of King; this is a puzzle game originally developed for the Facebook platform. Also available for other versions for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 10. Candy Crush Saga has made $7,456,000,000.

Grand Order ($5,533,800,000)

Aniplex a division of Sony Music Entertainment, Japan has developed Fate: The Grand Order for mobile platform and released on July 30, 2015. It is a free to play model game developed on Unity engine has made $5,533,800,000.

Fantasy Westward Journey ($4,700,000,000)

Fantasy Westward Journey is one of the most popular game in China and had a user base of 1.5 million in May, 2007, initially it was developed for Microsoft Windows platform in December 2001. The game was developed by NetEase and generated $4,700,000,000 till now.

Garena Free Fire ($4,330,000,000)

Garena Free Fire, also popular as Free Fire, is one of the most downloadable mobile games of 2019. The game was developed by the Vietnamese game company and published by Garena. The game has made $4,330,000,000; it was launched on December 4, 2014.

Wrapping Up:

We have briefed all the major gaming revenue sources in this blog and shared some of the most earned games till now. If you are also looking for game development resources like development, art or animation services, we can help you out!

Gamix Labs is one of India's best game development studios that delivers complete game development solutions, including art and animation services. We have experience developing games for diverse businesses, including education, marketing, casinos, and more.


Are 'Free to Play' and 'Play to Earn' models different?

Yes, 'Free to Play' and 'Play to Earn' games are based on different revenue models; the user has to buy NFT or Crypto tokens to play 'Play to Earn' games. However, players can play 'Free to Play' games without spending a single buck.

What are games that generate the most revenue?

The top highest-grossing video games are Honors of Kings, Clash of Clans, Pokemon, Mario, Call of Duty, Wii, PubG, etc. These games have generated revenue from $90,000,000,000 to $14,808,000,000.

Is PubG mobile the most played game in India?

No, PubG mobile has been replaced by Garena Free Fire as India's most popular game as per the Google Play store. However, India was the biggest market for PUBG in 2020, accounting for more than 28.8% of the game's 644 million by September.

What are the companies that earn the highest revenue in the gaming industry?

Numerous companies are generating huge revenue in the gaming industry. However, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Tencent, and Activation Blizzard are some of the highest revenue-generating companies. Sony: $24.9 billion, Microsoft: $16.3 billion, Nintendo: $15.3 billion, Tencent: $13.9 billion, Activation Blizzard: $8 billion.