Chinese Mobile Games Revenue Surges in May Thanks to Vacations in China and Japan

Mobile games from Chinese publishers recorded surging revenues in May as in-game promotions and events drove up user spending in the Chinese and Japanese markets, where the month started with a week-long public holiday, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

The top 30 highest-grossing Chinese publishers raked in a total of $1.94 billion in May across Apple’s App Store and Google Play, accounting for 28.9% of all mobile gaming revenue for the period. The numbers don’t include income from third-party Android stores in China.

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Top on the list of highest-grossing publishers is Tencent, which saw its gaming revenue for the month rise 15% month over month, driven primarily by heavyweight MOBA title Honour of Kings.

With the help of some events in May, Honour of Kings saw its revenue surge 31% month over month and 42% compared to the same period last year, achieving its highest growth since its launch four years ago. As the highest-grossing mobile game in the world, the MOBA title contributed roughly one-third of Tencent’s overall mobile game revenue in May.

Alibaba’s gaming unit LingXi Games also achieved its best month ever with a new season in its strategy game based on the Sengoku IP, Sengoku: Strategy Edition. The game’s revenue increased 32% month over month in May, making it the most profitable sandbox strategy game on iOS in China for the period.

Yoozoo Games and Yostar both leveraged the golden week holiday in Japan, pushing a number of holiday-related events to boost user spending. Yoozoo Games saw its revenue rise 43% month over month in May, primarily driven by the high performance of domestic title Myth of World and a Sengoku title launched in Japan. Yostar recorded a 23% increase in monthly revenue thanks to more user spending in the three titles that it distributes in overseas markets.

HyperGryph, the studio that developed and published hit anime-themed game Arknights, saw its revenue almost double month over month in May as the game welcomed its first anniversary. The game currently gets half of its revenue from overseas markets.