The 2022 numbers are in: here are last year’s top grossing publishers worldwide, according to Appmagic data.
The top ten, plus commentary, is below; we’ve also got the 11-20 and 21-30 rankings in full, plus each publisher’s top earning game.
For more big numbers and commentary, read our other 2022 wrap-up stories:
Led by the killer one-two punch of Honor of Kings ($2.2bn earned in 2022) and PUBG Mobile ($1.7bn), it’s no surprise to find Tencent top of this list.
As we noted in our commentary on 2022’s top grossing games, Honor of Kings revenue was up annually by $460m; conversely, PUBG Mobile is down year-on-year by $300m.
The China editions of Riot’s League of Legends: Wild Rift ($357m) and Teamfight Tactics ($239m) were nice little earners in 2022, too. And Tencent’s fifth-biggest title, battle royale game CrossFire: Legends ($237m), wasn’t far off TFT in fourth.
New release Goddess of Victory: Nikke has been incredibly lucrative too, earning $153m since it launched in November 2022. It was Tencent’s sixth-highest earning game of last year after just two months on the market.
NetEase was 2022’s second biggest publisher by revenue, and Fantasy Westward Journey ($601m) was its top grossing game by far.
Its second-biggest game was battle royale Knives Out ($228m), followed by the NetEase edition of Diablo Immortal, which earned $168m since its China launch in July (The rest-of-world edition is published by Blizzard, so doesn’t factor into NetEase’s numbers here).
NetEase had three more games that earned over $100m in 2022: 4X strategy game History of the Three Kingdoms ($161m), survival adventure LifeAfter ($141m) and battle-RPG Onmyoji ($104m).
Genshin Impact ($1.56bn) naturally represents the vast majority of Mihoyo’s $1.72bn earnings in 2022, though it has two other notable titles worth mentioning.
Honkai Impact 3rd earned $130m last year – a huge title, but one now overshadowed by Genshin. Also, ‘Riddles and romance’ game Tears of Themis earned $23m last year.
In fourth, Playrix was the top-grossing western publisher of 2022.
It earned over $100m more than King last year, and as you’d expect, Homescapes ($489m) and Gardenscapes ($429m) raked in the most cash.
They might have a lower profile, but Fishdom ($357m) and Township ($327m) aren’t too far behind in terms of 2022 revenue, with the latter up a healthy $58m in earnings compared to 2021.
And so onto King, where Candy Crush Saga continues to lead the way and broke $1bn in annual earnings for the first time in 2022.
Candy Crush Soda Saga ($287m) is second by some distance, but remains a colossal game in context – it earned more than Bingo Blitz, Lords Mobile, Empires & Puzzles, Raid: Shadow Legends and Toon Blast in 2022.
Completing the top five earners at King in 2022 are Farm Heroes Saga ($72m), Bubble Witch 3 Saga ($30m) and Candy Crush Friends Saga ($29m).
It’s all about Lineage for NCSoft in sixth place. Lineage W ($586m) and Lineage M ($407m) were significantly ahead of Lineage 2M ($183.5m) in 2022. It’s also worth also noting that despite only being available in South Korea and the US, Blade and Soul 2 made almost $30m last year.
$874m of NCsoft’s total $1.2bn 2022 earnings came from South Korea, with players in Taiwan and Japan also contributing $172m and $134m respectively.
A little like NCsoft in Korea, Bandai Namco’s business is powered by Japan. It represented $774m of the total $1.17bn earned in 2022. (Though it is trying to break out with something big in the west with its new studio in Barcelona.)
Its Dragon Ball games Dokkan Battle ($368m) and Legends ($184m) are the top two titles, followed by One Piece games Bounty Rush ($120m) and Treasure Cruise ($107m). There’s a bunch more anime-themed games below that in its portfolio, led by its Idolmaster dancing game, which earned a healthy $69m last year.
In eighth spot, Supercell’s annual earnings dropped by $200m year-on-year to $1.05bn. That’s a big drop for a consistent earner like Supercell, which had previously posted revenue of around $1.25bn three years running.
Big drops in Clash Royale and particularly Brawl Stars revenue are to blame. Brawl Stars made $182m last year, down from $326m in 2021; Clash Royale made $225m last year, down from $292m in 2021.
Annual Clash of Clans revenue is up to $496m from $485m in 2021, and Hay Day quietly grew to $133m.
The Finnish giant’s last global launch was Brawl Stars over four years ago, and in 2022 it cancelled two games, Everdale and Clash Quest. Will Clash Mini make it out of soft launch in 2023? Will the investments in external studios plus its new US arm produce anything that’ll move the needle this year? It seems unlikely.
It’ll be interesting to find out what Supercell boss Ilkka Paananen says about the direction of the company overall when it releases its annual business update in February.
Empires & Puzzles ($260m) was Zynga’s clear top earner in 2022; Merge Dragons ($136m) was second and Zynga Poker ($88m) took third.
Zynga doesn’t have one big totemic hit like FarmVille any more, but does have a bunch of lucrative titles in the $25-70m range – notables include Wizard of Oz Slots ($67m), Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells ($65m), Golf Rival ($59m), Hit It Rich! ($55m), Game of Thrones Slots ($49m), Words With Friends 2 ($38m), CSR2 ($32m) and FarmVille 3 ($25.5m).
Roblox rounds out the top ten publishers by earnings; as we said in our analysis of the top grossing games of 2022, Roblox is down by almost $100m year-on-year, from 2021’s high of $958m to 2022’s total of $862m. Oof.
Top grossing publishers: 11-20
There are some huge names outside the top ten, so here are the Appmagic rankings from 11-20, with each company’s top earner of 2022 in brackets:
11. Square Enix (Dragon Quest Walk): $847.5m
12. Lingxi Games (Romance of the 3 Kingdoms): $829m
13. Moon Active (Coin Master): $828m
14. 37Games (Puzzles & Survival): $827m
15. Konami (Baseball Spirits): $786m
16. FunPlus (State of Survival): $746m
17. Niantic (Pokémon Go): $713m
18. Cygames (Uma Musume Pretty Derby): $662m
19. Lilith Games (Rise of Kingdoms): $655m
20. Xflag (Monster Strike): $620m
Top grossing publishers: 21-30
There are some pretty big companies outside the top 20 too; here they are, again with each company’s top earner of 2022 in brackets:
21. Garena Intl (Garena Free Fire): $610m
22. Aniplex (Fate/Grand Order): $579m
23. Playtika (Slotomania): $574m
24. Scopely (Marvel Strike Force): $563m
25. Netmarble (The Seven Deadly Sins): $508m
26. Product Madness (Lightning Link Casino Slots): $493m
27. Nexon (Dungeon & Fighter Mobile): $485m
28. EA (Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes): $475m
29. SpinX Games (Cash Frenzy): $461m
30. GungHo (Puzzle & Dragons): $450m