China’s Tencent Holdings’ new video game release, Dungeon & Fighter Mobile, has made revenues of over $270m on iOS in the first 30 days after its launch – highlighting a major reversal for the company following a tumultuous string of setbacks for its video game division. 

Tencent, which receives a third of its revenue from gaming, has had difficulty in the gaming market this year. In February, the company axed its highly anticipated mobile game based on Square Enix’s Nier franchise two years into development, citing monetisation challenges.

The cancellation of the mobile game exposed vulnerabilities in Tencent’s decade-long strategy of transitioning successful console and PC games into mobile platforms.

However, the dramatic success of Tencent’s Dungeon & Fighter Mobile could highlight a new franchise for the company to replace its ageing titles.

The game was the most successful debut of the year for Tencent and topped the charts for downloads and revenue in China, according to data released by Sensor Tower on Monday (24 June).

On Thursday, Tencent made the unprecedented move of pulling Dungeon & Fighter Mobile off Android app stores. The company has expressed significant frustration over the percentage fees taken from app stores on in-game purchases.

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The initial success of the video game encouraged executives at Tencent to take a stand against Android, operated by China’s Huawei Technologies and Oppo, by pulling the game from its app store and allowing users to download it from its own sources, Bloomberg reported, citing someone familiar with the matter.

The news comes as mobile gaming is already bigger than the console and PC gaming markets combined, contributing nearly 57% of the $173bn global video games revenue in 2020.

According to research and analysis company GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Mobile Gaming 2024 report, the mobile gaming market was worth $98bn in 2020 and is expected to grow to $272bn by 2030, at a compound annual growth rate of 11% over the period.

Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region leads the global mobile gaming market. In 2020, it contributed nearly 60% of market revenue.

This is attributable to the 3.8 billion consumer mobile subscribers in the region, which is more than 50% of total mobile subscribers globally.