China’s Tencent Holdings’ new mobile video game release, Dungeon & Fighter Mobile, has made more than $140m (1bn yuan) in player spending in its first week, marking a return to success for its video game division. 

The side-scrolling Tencent mobile game was ranked as the world’s second top-selling application last week, falling just short of Chiense-owned video platform TikTok. 

On Apple devices alone, the video game is estimated to have earned over $40m from 2.4 million downloads, according to Appmagic

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, 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.

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

Tencent has faced a slew of setbacks in its gaming unit this year, including the axing of its highly anticipated mobile game based on Square Enix’s Nier franchise after two years of development due to monetisation challenges in February.

The project was abandoned as Tencent grappled with the complexities of finding a viable monetisation model amidst expensive development costs and franchise rights.

In 2023, Square Enix reported that Nier: Automata, the latest instalment in the Nier franchise, had sold over 7.5 million copies since its 2017 release for computers and consoles.

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