According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates, Honor of Kings from Tencent is likely to remain as the top most profitable game globally in the first half of the year, earning more than $728 million, excluding China’s third-party Android stores. Overall, the game garnered over $1 billion in February alone.
While Honor of Kings is undoubtedly a big money-maker, Arena of Valor (AoV), the international adaptation of the game, has met its Waterloo in Europe and America.
One of the top executives of Tencent Games has admitted that AoV has indeed made a lot of adjustments and localization efforts in order to suit the gaming habits of overseas players. For example, game characters were adjusted to accommodate Western culture and the gaming platform was extended to Nintendo Switch for European and American players. In addition, YouTube or Twitch influencers were invited to live stream the game. However, the end results did not meet developers’ expectations.
PUBG Mobile, another game by Tencent made it into the top five thanks to Chinese user spendings in Peacekeeper Elite, the variant of PUBG designed specifically for China. It grossed an estimated $141 million during the first half of the year through iOS purchases alone.
Among video apps, Netflix was the second highest grossing non-game app of Q1 and Q2 with an estimated consumer spending close to $399 million globally. It had been No. 1 for in-app revenue in the first half of 2018, but has since declined following Netflix’s decision to remove subscriptions from the iOS version of the app. Tencent Video grossed $278 million outside of China’s third-party Android stores, making it the third largest app in the first half of 2019 by revenue. Chinese video platform iQiyi ranked forth among the highest grossing non-game apps.