Newzoo has prepared a report on mobile games based on popular non-gaming IP. It turned out that Chinese projects based on “Journey to the West” earn almost 2.5 times more than all Marvel titles. Analysts also believe that franchise games will play a key role after the changes in the rules regarding IDFA.Game Data

The leader in revenue in the period from January 1, 2015 to March 15, 2021 were projects based on the Chinese novel of the 16th century “Journey to the West”.

  • Their total revenue was $5.4 billion.In second place are games licensed by Marvel — $ 2.2 billion.
  • Then there are projects on the series of Japanese novels “Onmyoji” (Onmyoji), as well as on the universes of “Star Wars” and another Chinese epic “The Three Kingdoms”.Newzoo does not take into account projects under the Pokémon license in the rating, since initially this franchise began with games.
  • 99% of all revenue from mobile games based on “Journey to the West” is accounted for in China, and 90% of revenue from in—game purchases is generated by games from NetEase – especially Fantasy Westward Journey, whose revenue has reached almost $4 billion in the Chinese App Store alone.
  • Newzoo notes that the success of this free-to-play MMORPG is due to its social mechanics, competitive gameplay and flexible monetization.
  • The highest-grossing Marvel game remains Marvel Contest of Champions, whose revenue for the entire time of operation reached $ 1.3 billion.
  • Top 5 highest-grossing mobile games by popular IP

At the same time, completely different franchises are leading in the list of the most downloaded games by non-gaming IP.

  • The first place is occupied by projects based on the cartoon “Despicable Me”, and then Marvel, Strawberry Shortcake, “Transformers” and Disney are located (we are talking only about the original IP of the company. and not about the extended license, which includes Marvel and Star Wars).From this we can conclude that games on popular Western franchises are downloaded much more often.
  • However, these downloads are not always converted into high revenue — a lot because of the age audience of most of these IP.The future of games on known IP

Newzoo expects that non-gaming IP projects will be released more often in the western and eastern markets.

At the same time, the opposite situation will also be observed, when the owners of game franchises will actively transfer their games to film and television screens.

According to analysts, mobile projects for non-gaming IP will become even more in demand after the introduction of changes in the IDFA rules. This is because games based on popular franchises can guarantee an influx of audience in a changing mobile advertising market. Especially if movies, TV series and other media products are released simultaneously in this universe.

Such a strategy gives organic traffic and saves the publisher from having to spend extra money to attract users. Newzoo notes that the influx of audience into such projects can be traced by the example of Contest of Champions and Jurassic World: The Game.