The 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017 all pulled in over $1 billion in revenue during the first-half of 2017. The biggest video game companies of 2016 have seen continued success in 2017, as only one of the top 20 gaming companies by revenue in 2017 has seen its revenue decline year-over-year, that being Warner Bros.
Needless to say, 2017 has been a strong one for the gaming industry. Hardware sales have registered their best monthly totals in each of the last five months when compared to the same month during the previous three years, bouyed by the release of the Nintendo Switch, and software sales have been strong, with over 110 million games being sold thus far according to VGChartz.
Nintendo’s Switch has had a solid debut, with 5.5 million systems being sold despite rampant shortages, more than double the sales of the Xbox One in 2017, though it trails the PlayStation 4’s continued success. Top mobile gaming companies have also had particularly strong years, namely mobile and PC game developers in China like Tencent, NetEase, and Netmarble, all of which have seen their revenue soar by over 50% year-over-year.
Many of the biggest video game publishers have also enjoyed tremendous success in 2017, with Activision, EA, and Bandai Namco all enjoying surging revenue. Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers by revenue, also got off to a great start to 2017, though sales slumped heavily in the second-quarter, being less than 1/3 of what they were in the first-quarter.
To compile this list of the 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017, we turned to data compiled by Newzoo, which calculated the gaming revenue that every public company pulled in during the first-half of 2017. When the company did not report its gaming-specific revenue, Newzoo estimated the figure.
It should be noted that hardware sales are not included in the figures; they solely represent revenue from software sales. Thus, hardware makers Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY), Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) don’t have an unfair advantage over the companies that solely develop and/or publish games, though they do get credit for whatever of the sales they get on their platforms.
Some of the gaming companies that just missed the top 12 included Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), Ubisoft, Square-Enix, and Konami. Head to the next page to begin the countdown of the top-performing gaming companies in the world during the first-half of 2017.
If you’re a lover of gaming, be sure to also check out our list of the 11 Biggest Video Game Companies In the World.
- Netmarble – $1.02 billion
Kicking off our list of the 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017 is Netmarble, which was bouyed by the success of its mobile MMORPG Lineage2 Revolution, which launched in 11 Asian countries during the second-quarter and immediately climbed to the top of the app store charts in many of them. The game was initially launched in South Korea last December, where it promptly recorded over $175 million in sales in its first month. Netmarble has published over 20 mobile games and several PC games.
- Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) – $1.02 billion
Nintendo’s Switch was released in March, and though the revenue from its sales aren’t counted, its strong game sales are, which includes 11.12 million Switch games being sold this year (though that includes third-quarter game sales). Over 15 million 3DS games have also been sold in 2017, pushing lifetime sales to over 291 million. In terms of Nintendo-published games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best-selling game of 2017 with 3.49 million copies sold. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has also been a success, selling 2.75 million copies.
- Nexon – $1.04 billion
Next up is Nexon, which pulled in $1.04 billion in revenue in the first-half of the year, a 27% year-over-year increase, which included a record $657 million in revenue in the first-quarter. The PC game Dungeon&Fighter was a key contributor to revenue in Q1, while the mobile game Dynasty Warriors Unleashed was a big performer in Q2, having achieved 5 million downloads within 5 weeks of its March 30 release. Some of Nexon’s North American PC games include Mabinogi, MapleStory, Riders of Icarus, and Vindictus.
- Bandai Namco – $1.14 billion
Bandai Namco ranks ninth after a first-half of $1.14 billion in revenue. Tekken 7 has performed well on PS4, selling just under 850,000 copies, with the company reporting that the game has sold over 1.66 million copies overall. Bandai Namco also reported that second-quarter revenue from game apps and social services jumped by 130% year-over-year.
- Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – $2.06 billion
Alphabet (Google for those not in the know) also makes the list of the 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017, primarily through sales of games and in-app purchases made on its Android platform. Google Play had about $12 billion in revenue in 2016, about 90% of which came from games. Google reportedly gets about 30% of the cut from app sales, or close to $4 billion in 2016, so it appears to be on a slightly better pace this year.
- NetEase Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:NTES) – $2.90 billion
It was a huge first-half for NetEase, whose revenue jumped by 53% year-over-year. Fantasy Westward Journey Online and Westward Journey Mobile continued to excel, while Onmyoji and New Ghost were also strong performers. NetEase expects its growth spurt to continue unabated, as the company has over 100 games in development, in addition to plans to greatly expand its footprint in the West. The company is aiming to have 30% of its revenue coming from overseas markets by 2020, compared to just 5% presently.
- Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA) – $2.98 billion
EA’s revenue was up by 15% year-over-year in the first-half, to just under $3 billion. FIFA 17 has sold another 1.5 million copies this year, pushing its sales to over 15 million. Mass Effect Andromeda has sold over 1.7 million copies on consoles in 2017, though those sales were considered a disappointment. Battlefield 1 has sold another 1.4 million copies, pushing console sales to 12 million.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) – $3.00 billion
Like Alphabet, Apple also gets a healthy cut from app sales from its iOS platform, which does about 50% more in sales than Google’s Play, hence why it had about 50% more gaming revenue in the first-half of the year. Among the top grossing iOS games are Pokemon Go, Candy Crush Saga, and Clash of Kings.
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – $3.24 billion
Microsoft’s Xbox One is not having a great run at the moment, but Microsoft is still raking in money from its gaming division nonetheless, including Xbox Live users jumping by 13% to 52 million in the first-quarter. Nearly 16 million Xbox One games have been sold this year, with Microsoft’s Halo Wars 2 selling a disappointing 327,000 of them. Microsoft is also the owner of the cash-cow Minecraft franchise, which it’s still trying to figure out what to do with.
- Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) – $3.36 billion
Next up on the list of the 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017 is Activision Blizzard, which pulled in another $3.36 billion in revenue in the first-half, primarily from a handful of key games, including World of Warcraft. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was a resounding success, having sold 2.05 million copies. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Overwatch have also continued to sell well this year.
- Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) – $4.28 billion
Sony continues to lengthen its lead over the Xbox One in the console race, as the PlayStation 4 has outsold Microsoft’s console by more than 3-to-1 this year, giving it more than twice the sales at 62.38 million. The PS4 has also sold more than 3-times as many games this year, at over 51 million copies. Sony’s Horizon: Zero Dawn is the year’s second-best selling game thus far, selling 3.43 million copies, putting it in a dead heat with Breath of the Wild. Uncharted 4 and MLB The Show 17 have also sold around 1 million copies each this year.
- Tencent – $7.37 billion
Topping our list of the 12 largest video game companies by revenue in 2017 is Tencent, which laps the field with $7.37 billion in first-half revenue. In fact, its second-quarter revenue alone topped every other company’s first-half revenue save for Sony, at $4.09 billion. Tencent’s mobile games revenue eclipsed its PC games revenue for the first time ever in the second-quarter, accounting for slightly over half of that $4.09 billion figure. Honour of Kings, the mobile MOBA (think League of Legends) has over 200 million users in China and is pulling in even more money than Pokemon Go.