The gaming sector has seen sizable growth in the last two decades as digital entertainment changes the way people play video games. The biggest gaming companies in the world are able to lead the market due to their smart business strategies, cutting-edge tech, and connection with their audiences. Learning from them allows you to formulate more profitable tactics, gain a deeper understanding of the business environment, as well as invest in the right studios.

Our experts at Business2Community have extracted data from a wide range of sources to compile the list of the biggest video game companies in the world. From game development to investment decisions to expansion strategies, we will reveal how the market leaders make it to the top.

The World’s Biggest Gaming Companies

As the demand for video games grows, the gaming industry is experiencing an exciting growth period. In 2019, video game global revenues were $265.21 billion, including both hardware and software developers. Five years later in 2024, that number has shot up to $455.27 billion and is expected to reach $666.69 billion by 2029.

statista video game value

The gaming market shows tremendous potential for developers and investors. To see how you can benefit from the ongoing trends, let’s take a look at how the biggest gaming companies respond to the market and drive changes.

1. Microsoft – $3.02 Trillion

In 2024, the biggest company in the gaming industry by market cap is Microsoft. Not only has the software giant revolutionized the tech space but it has also brought ground-breaking changes to game development. As of March 2024, the company had a market cap of $3.02 trillion.

xbox

First founded by friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Microsft’s prime focus was software development for high-end consumers. Four years later, the pair moved the company headquarters to Washington.

In 1986, Microsoft had its initial public offering at $21 per share. The move boosted the company’s market cap to $77 million and made Bill Gates the youngest billionaire at 31 years old.

The company became interested in the video gaming sector in the 1990s when it produced a series of Microsoft Entertainment Packs for Windows. The series included the classic Minesweeper, Golf, and TicTactics for users’ entertainment.

At that time, developers at Microsoft began working on a video game console, which would later become Xbox. The aim was to combat the dominance of Sony’s PlayStation in the video game market. In 2001, it launched the famed Xbox, selling 1.5 million units within six weeks, gaining it the title of one of the most successful launches in video game history. Microsoft has fiercely battled Sony in the gaming arena ever since, though its most recent Xbox console was outsold by the PlayStation 5.

In 2023, the video game segment of Microsoft generated a revenue of $7.11 billion. The Xbox hardware sales reached $3.69 billion that same year. Over the last decade, the revenues from console sales have been closely related to its new launches. Its latest launch was the Xbox Series S and X in November 2020, drove up revenues to $4 billion in 2021 and are expected to gradually declining with a forecast of $2.32 billion in 2025.

Company Name Microsoft
Headquartered In Redmond, Washington, US
Market Cap $3.02 trillion
Founded In 1975

2. Tencent – $325.60 Billion

Next, we have Tencent, a Chinese tech firm headed by Ma Huateng with a market cap of $325.60 billion at the time of writing. Based in Shenzhen, Tencent is a leading multimedia content company and the largest video game producer in China. It specializes in offering computing, digital marketing, and FinTech products and services.

Founded in 1998, it went on to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004. In 2011, Tencent acquired a majority of shares from Riot Games, the company that created incredibly popular video games like League of Legends (once the most popular video game in the world), for $350 million. At the time, Tencent already dominated one-third of China’s online entertainment industry. Four years later in 2015, the company bought all remaining shares from Riot Games.

The company also bought a 40% stake in Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite and Infinity Blade, for $330 million in 2012. These purchases allowed Tencent to bring foreign studios to the Chinese market and promote international games to local players.

As of 2022, the most popular mobile gaming apps by Tencent in terms of downloads were:

  • PUBG – 100 million downloads
  • Honor of Kings – 24.76 million downloads
  • Battle of Spatula – 11.74 million downloads
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift – 9.55 million downloads
Company Name Tencent
Headquartered In Shenzhen, China
Market Cap $325.60 billion
Founded In 1998

3. Sony – $107.54 Billion

Famed for its PlayStation series, Sony sits among the top game publishers with a market cap of $107.54 billion as of March 2024. The Japanese firm is a leading figure in the video game, film, photography, and electronic markets, producing $88.88 billion in revenue in 2023.

Sony Interactive Entertainment, originally named Sony Computer Entertainment, was created in 1993 to help Sony conquer the gaming industry.

The first model of PlayStation was released in 1994. Within a year, sales racked up to 1 million units globally. The console was selling for $300 in the US at the time and over 100,000 consoles were sold immediately following its launch.

sony playstation

The PlayStation console revolutionized the global video game industry. The convenience of being able to play video games at home quickly garnered loyal fans for Sony.

According to Sony Interactive Entertainment, up until its discontinuation, more than 102.4 million original PlayStation consoles were sold in the two decades after its release.

Subsequently, Sony introduced the PlayStation 2, 3, 4, and 5, penetrating different markets worldwide. Overall, PlayStation 2 has been the most popular console developed by Sony, with a cumulative sale volume of 159 million as of February 2024. PlayStation 5, which was released in 2020, had sold around 54.2 million units.

With over 10,000 games on PlayStation, Sony guarantees players to find the genre they enjoy. Some popular games on the online gaming platform in the US and Canada include Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, A Way Out, and Overcooked! 2. In 2023, the most downloaded game on PlayStation 5 was Warner Bros. Games’ Hogwarts Legacy.

Company Name Sony
Headquartered In Tokyo, Japan
Market Cap $107.54 billion
Founded In 1946

4. NetEase – $68.73 Billion

With a market cap of $68.73 billion at the time of writing, NetEase is on our list of the top video game companies in the world. The China-based video game company was created in 1997 with a focus on technology, live stream services, ecommerce, and digital entertainment.

NetEase went public on the NASDAQ in 2000, making it the first Chinese gaming company to be listed on the exchange. The following year, NetEase developed the Fantastic Westward Journey, which remained the most popular app in the mobile gaming market in China with more than $2 billion in cumulative revenue and 20 million downloads as of 2024.

To expand its presence in international markets, NetEase has invested in a lot of overseas studios throughout the years. In 2018, NetEase invested $100 million in a US gaming studio called Bungie, which helped the firm develop and introduce games that had never been released in China before.

Four years later in 2022, NetEase provided $13.2 million in funding for a newly established studio in the US – Something Wicked Games. The move played an important part in helping the company to expand its global reach.

That same year, Riot Games, the Tencent-owned developer of League of Legends and Valorant, filed a lawsuit against NetEase over the firm’s Hyper Front game. The lawsuit claimed that NetEase directly copied game elements like characters, weapons, and maps from Valorant, criticizing the company for stealing its creation. In response to the lawsuit, NetEase closed down all its servers for Hyper Front.

In 2023, NetEase had a total revenue of CN¥103.5 billion (approximately $14.58 billion), representing a 7.2% increase from its 2022 figures.

Company Name NetEase
Headquartered In Hangzhou, China
Market Cap $68.73 billion
Founded In 1997

5. Nintendo – $65.40 Billion

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, Nintendo is a multinational video game company best known for the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon, and the Super Mario Bros. series. As of March 2024, it had a total market cap of $65.40 billion.

Over a century ago, in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo to manufacture “Hanafuda”, a type of Japanese playing card in Kyoto, Japan. Over the next century, Nintendo would continue to develop high-quality games and dominate the Japanese entertainment industry.

Hanafuda nintendo

It was listed on the Osaka Stock Exchange and the Kyoto Stock Exchange in 1962.

Nintendo tried to access its overseas markets and introduced the Donkey Kong video game in the US in 1981. Unfortunately, major players in the US did not respond to the Japan-made game very well – 2,000 units remained unsold out of the 3,000 shipped.

nintendo

The setback didn’t stop Nintendo from developing games and conquering the gaming industry. During the mid to late 1980s, it introduced smash hit games like the Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, Super Mario Bros., and Punch-Out! Many of these games would go on to remain one of the most popular video games even decades later.

For example, as of 2023, Mario Kart 8, available on Nintendo Switch, had sold 45.33 million units since its release.

That same year, Nintendo reported that its total sales revenue reached approximately $11 billion. Its Nintendo Switch hardware sales reached 139.36 million units while its software sales totaled 1.2 billion units.

Over the last decade, overseas revenues comprised a huge part of the company’s performance. In 2023, revenue in the Japan segment was $2.75 billion. The US and Europe, on the other hand, generated revenues of $4.5 billion and $2.97 billion, respectively. The US contributed nearly a third of Nintendo’s total revenue.

Company Name Nintendo
Headquartered In Kyoto, Japan
Market Cap $65.40 billion
Founded In 1889

6. Electronic Arts (EA) – $36.13 Billion

Famous for its sports games like FIFA and Need for Speed, Electronic Arts, also known as EA, is one of the best American video game studios based in Redwood City, California with a market cap of $36.13 billion in March 2024.

From Battlefield to The Sims and Star Wars, Electronic Arts sits among top-quality game publishers with a diverse portfolio. It is the king of sports games with licensing agreements with the 2 largest sports organization in the US, the NFL and NBA. With these agreements, it produces new titles of its American football series, Madden, as well as its basketball series, NBA 2K, every single year.

electronic arts

As one of the most powerful mobile platforms for video games, the company generates a ton of sales from its interactive entertainment game apps. According to Statista, the best-selling Electronic Arts mobile gaming apps around the world in 2023 were:

  1. FIFA Soccer – $104 million
  2. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes – $49.95 million
  3. Golf Clash – $47.35 million
  4. SimCity BuildIt – $22.21 million
  5. The Sims FreePlay – $13.7 million

Users played a total of 1.8 billion hours of The Sims in 2023 and 45.1 billion rounds on FC Mobile, illustrating Electronic Arts’ popularity in the gaming industry.

EA may have an unthinkably large portfolio of games, titles, and licensing agreements, but it’s reputation is about as bad as it gets in the gaming industry. It is often lambasted for overcharging for its games as well as its tendency to add in “pay-to-win” microtransaction models. Because EA releases a new game in both its Madden and NBA 2K series every year, it has drawn in an inundation of criticism. They complain that there is almost nothing changed in each new game beyond updating teams to modern rosters, but they still charge full price ($69.99) for each title.

Despite the criticism, the company is continuing to grow at a fast pace. According to Electronic Arts, its 2023 total revenue was $7.426 billion, up from $6.99 billion in the previous year. Its total player network grew to 650 million.

Company Name Electronic Arts
Headquartered In Redwood City, California, US
Market Cap $36.13 billion
Founded In 1982

7. Garena – $32.72 Billion

Owned by Sea Limited, Garena was founded in 2009 as an esports community and an online games developer. It is the youngest video game company on the list. Its video games serve consumers from 130 markets around the world, making it one of the largest video game companies with a market cap of $32.72 billion in March 2024.

garena

The company hosts and organizes esports events in Southeast Asia, creating a tight community among players and developers to foster growth and sales. It also has its unique Garena Platform for gamers to connect and network. Some of Garena’s most famous games include Arena of Valor, Garena Undawn, Heroes of Newerth, and Firefall.

In 2017, Sea was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SE”, raising $884 million at $15 per share, higher than its original estimated value of $12-$14 per share.

Its most successful esports match, the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore, remained the most-watched esports match in history at the time of writing with 5.4 million concurrent viewers at its peak.

@ff_vc3

Free Fire Wordl Series 2021 | FFWS 2021

♬ Free Fire World Series 2 – Garena Free Fire

In 2023, the digital entertainment company generated $2.2 billion in revenue, nearly down by 40% from last year’s $3.9 billion.

Company Name Garena
Headquartered In Singapore
Market Cap $32.72 billion
Founded In 2009

8. Roblox – $26.66 Billion

Based in California, Roblox is another leading gaming industry giant with a market cap of $26.66 billion as of March 2024. Founded in 2004 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel, Roblox was a small-scale social video game firm with its initial investments coming from developers, investors, and friends of the founders.

R0blox, the game, is kind of like a metaverse of user-generated content. It provides the basic tools its users need to create their own worlds, games, and more, opening the way for a kind of meritocracy that leads to high-quality popular content. This model is brilliant because Roblox essentially doesn’t need to do anything to update the game for it to continue to evolve and succeed. It’s users do that for them. However, it has run into controversy with various allegations relating to the safety of minors and some even claim that its success is built on child labor (as many if not most of its world-building users are minors).

roblox

Roblox went through a period of fast expansion in the 2010s. In 2017, the video game studio locked in a $92 million Series E round of funding led by venture capital firms Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures.

In 2021, Roblox completed its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange at $69.50 per share, putting its market cap at $38.26 billion. At that time, Roblox had around 37 million daily active users, which nearly doubled its 2018 figures. The gaming firm grew exponentially during the pandemic with the majority of its players being children under 13.

According to the company’s public filings at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, in 2023, there were 68.4 million daily active users on the gaming platform with a total of 60 billion hours spent. 53% of its users were males and 58% of them were under the age of 16. Roblox regularly vies for the top spot as the most popular game in the world in terms of active users with top titles like Fortnite and Minecraft.

Its user groups showed an even distribution across Asia, North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. Mobile gaming was the preferred channel for its users to play video games, with 80% of them opting for that platform.

roblox user distribution

Roblox made $2.80 billion for the 2023 fiscal year, demonstrating a 26% year-to-year growth rate. The average bookings per daily active use was $51.50. The gaming company expected revenue to continue to grow in 2024, reaching between $3.3 billion to $3.4 billion.

Company Name Roblox
Headquartered In Menlo Park, California, US
Market Cap $26.66 billion
Founded In 2004

9. Take 2 Interactive – $25.08 Billion

Take 2 Interactive is a video game software developer that engages in developing, marketing, and publishing activities for its products. It owns several well-established publishing labels such as Rockstar Games, 2K, and Zynga. The firm develops consoles for gaming systems and cloud streaming services.

take 2 interactive

The company was founded by Ryan Brant in 1993 and went public in 1997 at $5.50 per share. The next year, Take 2 Interactive created Rockstar Games, a subsidiary that would later become one of the top game publishers in the world.

Take 2 Interactive has published Grand Theft Auto I, II, and II between the late 1990s and early 2001, harvesting great success. Sales reached 3 million units, 2 million units, and 5 million units, respectively. Grand Theft Auto V, which was released in 2013, was the most commercially successful launch for the series, reaping $185 million in revenue as of 2023.

From 1998 until 2024, the game publisher was involved in the production and distribution of 87 games. With that, Take 2 Interactive reported a 52.6% jump in revenue to $5.35 billion with new net bookings valued at $5.28 billion.

Company Name Take 2 Interactive
Headquartered In New York City, US
Market Cap $25.08 billion
Founded In 1993

10. Aristocrat – $19.37 Billion

With a value of $19.37 billion, Aristocrat makes the cut to be one of the largest video game publishers in the world and is the only Australian company on the list. The company has over 7,000 employees worldwide and owns 28 creative studios.

aristocrat gaming

Founded in 1953 in Sydney, Australia, Aristocrat was a manufacturer and producer of slot machines and games. With a vision to expand its operations to overseas markets, the company introduced its all-electronic game, Wild West, in the US and Europe in 1979.

Over the years, Aristocrat grew to become one of the top video game companies due to its acquisition strategies.

In 2014, the company bought Video Gaming Technologies in the US for $1.3 billion. It also bought PlayTech for $3.7 billion in 2021. Later, in 2023, Aristocrat announced its acquisition of NeoGames SA, an Israel-based gaming solutions company, for $1 billion.

This series of acquisitions has allowed the Australian gaming company to grow exponentially. The company reported a revenue of AU$6.30 billion ($4.20 billion) for the 2023 fiscal year, up 13.0% from its 2022 figures.

Company Name Aristocrat
Headquartered In Sydney, Australia
Market Cap $19.37 billion
Founded In 1953

Learning From the Biggest Gaming Companies in the World

From our list of the top game publishers in the world, we can see that having a diverse portfolio and mergers and acquisitions are vital to business growth. Most of these companies have responded to market demand and customer preferences by allocating resources to their best-selling games and developing games in different genres and new ways of engaging with audiences, such as creating esports teams.

As digitalization continues to take over the entertainment field, companies have to stay on top of the game by continuously refining the game experience for users and introducing new launches to grow market share. Finding ways to integrate AI in gaming and perfecting the user experience will be an indicator of future growth.

There are a range of lessons you can take from these successful hardware and software gaming companies. As a business leader, finding synergies with other businesses and merging with or acquiring them can launch a growth strategy. Understanding what your audience wants and building communities are strong takeaways for marketers looking to emulate the connection companies like EA have with consumers. Investors can use this list as a starting point for some of the most successful gaming companies to decide if they’re suitable for your portfolio.

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