Boosted by a week-long game playing holiday in early May during which its enthusiastic players binged on games, Tencent’s (HKEX: 0700) mobile game Honor of Kings generated gross sales of USD 204.5 million in that month, up 31% from April, the highest single month growth since the game released four years ago.
The revenue surge of Honor of Kings drove Tencent’s mobile game revenue up by 15% month-on-month in May, said 36Kr.
“About 95% of Honor of Kings’ revenue was from China, followed by 2.2% from Thailand,” said Sensor Tower. The game is the most played mobile game in China, with a penetration rate of 17.1% as of June 2019.
In the first quarter of 2020, online games contributed to 34% of Tencent’s revenue, while Honor of Kings accounted for a third of the company’s mobile game earnings.
Although Tencent claims more than half of China’s mobile gaming market, its gaming business is taking up a smaller portion of total revenues in recent quarters. Honor of Kings is reaching a plateau in user growth, while the company has failed to produce new games that could duplicate its success.
That said, the national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the past few months gave the much-needed push to Tencent’s stagnating gaming business.
Honor of Kings ranked second among international mobile games in terms of overall worldwide revenue for May 2020, while the crown taken by the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG), which Tencent also operates.
These two smash hit games make the Shenzhen-based entertainment magnate the No.1 Chinese game publisher by global revenue, while its domestic rival NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES; HKEX: 9999) ranks behind.