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Call of Duty: Mobile maker made $10 billion last year, becomes world's largest mobile game developer

TiMi is the studio behind the popular Call of Duty: Mobile title and it is owned by China's Tencent Games.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | April 5, 2021 | Updated 10:29 IST

Highlights

  • Tencent-owned TiMi generated a revenue of $10 billion in 2020.
  • This revenue was mostly driven by the success of Call of Duty: Mobile and Honor of Kings.
  • Tencent reported $23.79 billion in online games revenue last year.

The studio behind the popular mobile title, Call of Duty: Mobile, has earned a staggering $10 billion in 2020, Reuters said in a report. TiMi Studios is owned by Tencent and develops two immensely popular games, one being Call of Duty: Mobile while the other one is the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Honor of Kings. And this monetary success has made TiMi the world's largest developer, Reuters said citing its sources.

It is not, however, clear on what parameters TiMi would become the largest developer in the world. But the $10 billion figure in revenue is a big deal. Just to put things in perspective, Activision, the company that owns the IP rights of Call of Duty posted revenue of $8.09 billion last year, which is significantly lower than what TiMi has made. Call of Duty: Mobile is published by TiMi, much like how PUBG Mobile is by Tencent Games. Krafton is the original owner of PUBG IP.

Now people, including the players of Call of Duty: Mobile and Honor of Kings, are not familiar with the name TiMi but it is behind some of the biggest mobile games in the world. While Call of Duty: Mobile grew by numbers to reach 100 million downloads in the first week of its launch back in October 2019, Honor of Kings -- which is only available in China -- enjoys a base of 100 million daily active users as of November last year, according to the data released by Tencent, the Chinese colossus that owns TiMi.

TiMi is now shifting its focus to move beyond mobile games in its attempt to take on industry heavyweights that are behind some of the biggest "AAA" titles. These games are universally available, meaning you can play them on a Sony PlayStation console, an Xbox, or Nintendo's Switch handheld console. It is recruiting people in China for a new AAA game that will borrow heavily from the movie Ready Player One. This AAA title, TiMi thinks, will "compete head-to-head against big powers from Japan, Korea, Europe and U.S."

Not just the AAA title, but TiMi is also getting an overseas studio, which will be one of the two that Tencent is developing right now. The other one will be for Lightspeed and Quantum. Both the studios will be in Los Angeles and will be focused on creating content with "original intellectual property that has global appeal", according to the Reuters report.

Tencent Games, which owns TiMi, reported total revenue of $23.79 billion in online games, out of which TiMi's proceeds accounted for 40 per cent, two sources told Reuters. The Chinese giant is behind some of the biggest mobile titles in the world, including PUBG Mobile that was banned in India last year exactly because of the association with the Chinese company. After the ban was in place, Krafton, the original owner of the PUBG IP, severed ties with Tencent Games as far as publishing rights were concerned for the Indian market. Krafton is now deadlocked with the government over the release of PUBG Mobile India.

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