Editorial

Deconstructing the reason why IP based mobile games are on the rise

The revenue of IP games are growing year by year

IP-based (Intellectual Properties) mobile games have been producing a rise in profitable revenue stream in the mobile gaming sector for some time now with popular titles that are based on Star Wars, Marvel Comics, and Journey to the West. Onmyoji is also another title that has produced the most surplus amongst IP games since 2015. According to research from Newzoo, Marvel, Onmyoji, and Journey to the West are the current top three IP-based franchises on mobile having generated a staggering $8.7 billion in revenue.


Attracting brand recognition

Mobile developers aim to benefit from addicting more brand recognition and intellectual property to their games. This lucrative nature of IP-based titles on the mobile platform communicates to consumer demand for beloved and popular brands. Other games that are based on non-gaming properties have since been a part of the industry that goes back to the long days of the Atari 2600.

Call of Duty Mobile

Mobile games of today have become an ideal home for those particular titles, especially after the increased price of AAA gaming PC and consoles continue to go higher. Many of these mobile game developers conversely stand to benefit from putting the intellectual properties of their games; since brand recognition delivers a firmer and organic road to player acquisition and that is likely to become vital in our post-IDFA generation where strategies on advertising on platforms such as Apple is about to experience a massive upheaval.


The substantial increase in revenue in 2020

According to data presented by mobile analyst group Sensor Tower, the top five highest-earning IP-based mobile titles in 2020 went on to earn a stunning $4.2 billion in a merged consumer spending. And of course, Pokémon Go was first place, followed by Fate, Lineage M, and 2M and then Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle. Furthermore, Call of Duty: Mobile was the first place in total downloads, then Minecraft, Pokémon Go, Sonic Dash, and lastly Plants vs. Zombies. Out of 100 of the most downloaded mobile games of 2020, three games were officially licensed IP games and amongst the 100 highest earning games, 19 of them were officially licensed games.


Contest of Champions remains one of the most successful IP-based titles

Marvel Contest of Champions was not featured in either the top five games with the highest revenue or downloads in 2020 but it remains Kabam’s masterpiece in terms of financial and licensed success ever since its release in 2014. Newzoo data shows that the Contest of Champions has so far generated over $1.3 billion with most of its revenue of 56% coming from the US. This shouldn’t come as a shock considering how little the game is talked about, but then again it is obvious that the global popularity and likeness of the Marvel characters played an integral role in the game’s success.

Marvel MCOC

Another factor being the constant amount of content that Kabam lets out regularly. Marvel’s standard IP allows Kabam to regularly and without hassle, update the Contest of Champions with new storylines and events that’ll keep it fresh and exciting to both new and existing players. The nature of the game’s original IP and the freedom level that its IP-holders are willing to give or offer are relevant factors that are worth mentioning to game publishers/developers when signing an IP licensing deal of any kind.

Nevertheless, it is not only TV and film IP bearers that will seek to take advantage of the mobile market in years to come. Some of the biggest publishers in the industry are also planning or are already taking steps to ensure their titles find a happy home in the mobile market such as Riot’s League of Legends: Wild Rift and Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal. The mobile gaming market continues to thrive as developers and publishers have recognized the industry’s potential and are bringing more and more IP-based games to mobile.


What are your thoughts on IP based mobile games being on the rise? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Isa Muhammad

Some people are good with numbers, I'm good with words. I've been a professional freelance writer and journalist for as long as I can remember. I love to read and I have come to know a little about a lot of things. If I'm not playing the best games with my free time, then I'm probably writing about them.
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