These Video Game Franchises Bagged the Most Cash

Video game developers over the years have been surprised at the market response to their games. Some games which developers were confident would be market hits turned out to be flops, whereas some games with very little expectation attached to them turned out to be blockbuster games.

We take a look at a list of the most popular video game franchises in the world in terms of the total amount of revenue they have generated over time. Some games have done better than others because they have been around for a longer time. We decided to group these video game franchises into three categories based on their total revenues.

The first category are video game franchises that have generated over $10 billion in revenue, the second category are games that have crossed the $5 billion mark and the third category are games that have surpassed the $2 billion mark. This is a dynamic game list as their revenue numbers keep changing with every passing month. Do note that some of these popular video game franchises have been turned into slot machines which has added to the popularity of the video franchise game. 

Video Game Franchises Over $10 Billion

The modern generation of video gamers usually think that Pokémon tops the list as the most popular video game franchise but that’s not true based on our research. Taking the first spot is the Mario Franchise which was developed by Nintendo back in 1981. This game was first released as an arcade game and became a massive hit with young and old people all over the world.

The developers did a great job by coming out with a theme that would appeal to a huge demographic and did well by making the game easy to play. Over the years, a number of video games under the Mario franchise have been released and they have brought in over $9.2 billion in revenue.

However, the two most popular Mario games are Super Mario which generated over $17 billion and Mario Kart which generated over $6 billion. Combined the Mario franchise has brought in over $32.5 billion.

3 Million Sales and Counting

Pokémon is second on the list with total revenue of over $19.5 billion. This game is trademarked by Nintendo and was developed by the Pokémon Company in 1996. The console version generated $13.7 billion between 1996 and 2018, whereas the mobile version generated $4.7 billion from 2016 to 2019. The Sword & Shield game generated just under $1 billion in 2019. 

Third on the list of the most popular video franchises is Call of Duty (CoD). This game was released by Activision in 2003 and is estimated to have generated over $18 billion in revenue so far. Some of the other popular video franchise games that have crossed the $10 billion mark include Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) which came out in 2005, Wii series which was released in 2006 and the classic Pac-Man which came out in 1980.

Video Game Franchises Over $5 Billion

We take a look at video game franchises that have crossed the $5 billion mark but are yet to surpass the $10 billion mark. Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is one of the most popular video game franchises in the world and is very close to surpassing $10 billion. RockStar Games came out with this video game in 1997 and since then it has brought in $9.9 billion.

Second on this list is Lineage by NCSoft which came out in 1998. Lineage I and II (PC Version) has so far generated $5.2 billion while the mobile version has brought in $4.4 billion. In total, Lineage has generated just over $9.7 billion. 

Third on the list is Mixi’s Monster Strike game which came out in 2013. The mobile version has generated $8.1 billion while the Nintendo 3DS game has brought in $36 million. Monster Strike has generated over $8.1 billion in revenue so far. 

Some of the other games that fall into this category include Puzzle & Dragons which came out in 2012, Candy Crush, Honor of Kings (Arena of Valor) and Donkey Kong. 

Video Game Franchises Over $2 Billion

We now take a look at video game franchises that have crossed the $2 billion market but are yet to cross the $5 billion mark. First on the list is Fortnite which came out in 2017. Epic Games released this game across multiple platforms (PC, Xbox One and PS4) and has had massive success with this game, generating over $4.2 billion in revenue. 

A picture containing toy, doll, photo, table

Description automatically generated


Fate is second game that is on this list may not be popular with millennials but it still has a strong following globally. Japanese developers Type-Moon and Aniplex released this game in 2004 on PC and found a big audience in the Asian video gaming market. Fate has so far generated over $4.1 billion in revenue.

Ubisoft came out with Assassin’s Creed in 2007 and saw immediate success. The game was made available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Assassin’s Creed has generated over $4 billion in revenue as of 2019.

Some of the other video game franchises that come under this category include Need for Speed (NFS) by Electronic Arts, The Legend of Zelda, Gran Turismo, Monster Hunter and Resident Evil.

Video game franchises that are sitting between the $1 billion and $2 billion mark include Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Disney Tsum Tsum, Onimusha, Black Desert Online and One Piece.

You might also like