People all over the world love video games, so much that the industry raked in an astounding $140 billion in 2019 alone. But how much money each game and franchise actually gain till today? Today we have a list of the top video games that have made an insane amount of money. Without any feather discussions, let’s get into it.
12. The Legend of Zelda – $1,400,000,000
The Zelda series exist since 1986 thanks to Nintendo and became a big hit. The series is a mix of puzzles, action, adventure and exploration. The Zelda series became one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises and many consider it to be best video games ever made.
Although , The Legend of Zelda is imaginary/fantasy game, it is actually inspired by the real word. The game designer and the creator Shigeru Miyamoto loved the nature and used to travel and explore the forests, lakes and caves that were near by to his hometown of Sonobe, Japan. Princess Zelda actually takes her name for American author and socialite Zelda Fitzgerald, while Link’s appearance was combination between Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.
11. Tom Clancy Rainbow Six: Siege $1,600,000,000
A series of incredibly successful video games and several well-known films were inspired but none other then Tom Clancy’s books. Rainbow Six games were first released in the late 1990s and got reborn in 2015 under the name Rainbow Six: Siege.
Rainbow Six: Siege is Fps game (first person shooter) that allows players to operate in one of the 5 teams, FBI SWAT, the British SAS, the German GSG-9, the Russian Spetsnaz, and the French GIGN. The series gained substantial fan base which even created annual tournament where the best players compete team versus team on rewards and title.
10. Minecraft – $2,500,000,000
We can’t ignore one of the most successful building games revolutionary in the history – The Minecraft. Minecraft have been sold over 200 million copies till now and became the best-selling video game of all time in terms of units sold. This game became so popular that we got reported it even reached to 126 million users playing monthly.
Minecraft is building sandbox game with no specific goals that the player needs to accomplish. The freedom that the game offers is a huge part of it mass appeal and thanks to the big community, there are so many Mods. Mods are an output or process of adding custom items and blocks to Minecraft. Modding allows users to expand the open-ended game, incorporating new tools, blocks, mobs, and more. With mods there are so many in-game games and calibration with other games that made by fans, for example you can actually play Pokémon in Minecraft thanks to mods.
9. Halo Franchise – $5,000,000,000
The outer space franchise shooting game, Halo, is based on a plot about war between humanity and evil aliens known as “The Covenant”. The first game in the series first released in 2001 and after that, the series sold over 65 million copies worldwide. The first games of the series were big success by many and even acknowledge as the best first-person shooter games that released by Xbox.
Halo didn’t just stay in the video games, it even expend into other media including novels, graphic novels, comic books and even Lego sets. Some people even compared Halo series to the Star Wars series.
8. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – $5,000,000,000
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also known by name PUBG, was released by South Korean video game company Bluehole in 2017. PUBG is based on the Japanese movies Battle Royale and came with features as a shooting battle royal genre game.
At first, Battlegrounds was available via the video game streaming service, Steam to pc and then expend to mobile and to the consoles. Downloads of the mobile version of the game reached to 600 million, while computer and console sales have reached till now to over 70 million copies.
7. Tetris – $5,000,000,000 (estimated)
Probably the most classic of all the games in the list. On the summer of 1984 Russian mathematician Alexey Pajitnov created the game Tetris. He first showed it out to close friends and he never expected it to be a worldwide sensation.
Eventually Tetris was picked up by gaming enthusiast and businessman Hank Rogers, which sold it to Nintendo back then. Sadly, Pajitnov didn’t gain anything of the revenue until 1991, when he moved to US and joined forces with Rogers. In the meantime, he missed out millions of dollars from the deal that Rogers done. Happily, to date, the rights are back in the hands of its rightful owner while the game sold more then 200 million copies.
6. Grand Theft Auto Franchise – $9,000,000,000
The Grand Theft Auto series is an open world games where mostly the theme is to slowly climb up in the underworld hierarchy or take revenge against crime organization. Each game in the GTA series took different place and city in America. The funny part is, that GTA was developed in the UK by Rockstar North.
In the GTA’s series, several well-known Hollywood actors have voiced the in game including, Ray Liotta, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods, and Axl Rose. Even though its an on going successful series, many articles criticized it as a violent real-life crime game. Many countries such as Britain, Germany, and France are against the game even if it’s still sold in their countries and even Brazil banned it outright.
5. Warcraft – $11,200,000,000
Warcraft is a real time strategy game where players control in-game armies and fight against other players or against the computer. The game take place in fantasy world where humans, elves, orcs, undead and many other creatures live there.
This game not stopped in just video games, it also expended to other media including a short-lived magazine, card game, comics, books, and actually full-length movie that released in 2016. Warcraft is one of the most recognizable video game titles, played by fans all over the world.
4. Mario – $12,000,000,000
Another successful franchise and series by creator and director Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo. Shigeru never knew that introducing an Italian plumber into an already popular arcade like Donkey Kong, will actually lead to the plumber stealing the show. 40 years later, the Mario franchise became the most recognizable video game franchise on earth.
According to many sources, the name Mario was based on landlord of Nintendo’s warehouse in North America, named Mario Segale. Till today, Mario has appeared in over 200 games and sold over 200 million units of games. Lately rumors start to spread out about animated Mario movie is set to be released somewhere in 2021.
3. Pokémon Franchise (video games only) – $13,100,000,000
One of my childhood’s favorite video game series and tv show is none other the Pokémon, known also as “Pocket Monster”. Pokémon Franchise is owned by three companies: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, but it is managed by Nintendo in North America. Pokémon is the highest top grossing media franchise of all time, with an estimated 9$ billion revenue.
When the co-creator Satoshi Tajiri gave the idea to Nintendo, at first no one really understood the idea of being able to trade “monsters” between players and use them to battle one another. According to his previous success in the company, Satoshi and partner Ken Sugimori were given the green light to develop the first game under Shigeru Miyamoto’s instructions.
2. Call of Duty Series – $15,000,000,000
Call of Duty was first published in 2013 by the California-based Activision. The first game was based on World war II and even include the cold war, futuristic, and outer-space settings. Only by February 2016, the series has sold over 250 million copies.
The game’s vivid realness, has made it a surprisingly favorite among members of the military. Because of the soldiers love it so much, US Armed Forces seriously adapted some of their training to simulate elements of the game.
1. League of Legends – $20,000,000,000
League of Legends, or in short LoL, was produced by American video game company Riot Games. LoL first launched in 2009 and within only 3 years it became the most played game in North America and Europe in terms of total hours spent playing. Riot, thanks to LoL, made billions of dollars per year over the last decade.
So what Riot doing with all this money they gain from LoL? According to reports (take them as rumors until they official announce) they might plan to announce on digital card game, television series and movie. League of Legends continues to be a number one title across Europe, Asia, and North America.