According to a report from Sensor Tower, Riot Games’ mobile titles generated over $100 million in combined user spending on the App Store and Google Play. This considerable amount of money was reached by the developers of three popular mobile games, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra.
The mobile game to generate the most revenue is also the newest, League of Legends: Wild Rift, a mobile MOBA based on their popular PC game, was their most successful to date. Launching in October 2020, League of Legends: Wild Rift generated nearly $65 million in revenue in under a year. The game has been downloaded 46.3 million times and as of writing it accounts for roughly 60% of the developer’s mobile revenue. A major reason for the title’s success was the concerted effort made by Riot Games to establish it as a popular mobile esport. You are more likely to see League of Legends: Wild Rift betting on esports betting sites than many other popular mobile titles.
The second most popular mobile title from Riot Games is their Auto Chess app, Teamfight Tactics which released in March 2020. It was their first foray into the world of mobile gaming, and it came at just the right time. The Auto Chess genre was booming, and they were one of the first to bring a polish version to mobile platforms. As a result, the title generated more than 15 million downloads and a total revenue of $27.5 million.
Their least popular mobile title is the Card Battler game Legends of Runeterra. It was released in April 2020, and it generated $16.2 million since launch as well as close to 13 million installs. This looked like Riot Games attempt to follow in the footsteps and success of Hearthstone. While it is still a popular game, Riot Games even have plans for Legends of Runeterra esports, it is still lagging behind their competitors. It seems like they released the game a few years too late.
ESL have been running a new Mobile esports ecosystem in 2021, it includes popular titles like Asphalt 9: Legends, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Legends of Runeterra, PUBG Mobile, and League of Legends: Wild Rift.
ESL are hosting two full seasons of action in 2021 with the ESL Mobile Spring 2021 season that began in April. Each season will consist of two competitive tiers, ESL Mobile Open and the all-new ESL Mobile Challenge. The ESL Mobile Open represents the start of the esports journey and allows players of all skill-levels to compete in top mobile games. Players work their way through two ladder phases and two play-in opportunities for a spot in the ESL Mobile Challenge phase of the tournament.
It’s clear that Riot Games and other mobile developers need to begin their esports focus on the grass roots community. There are already established console and PC players, but they can expand by opening it up to the amateur community. I think their grassroots focus is a major reason that Riot Games generates so much revenue from their free to play mobile games.