Just two percent of all publishers on iOS have had a number one app on the store’s free, paid, or top grossing charts in any country since 2010, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower, and the companies who’ve had the most No. 1 free apps all publish video games.
Tencent tops the chart with 121 apps. It’s battle royale game “PUBG Mobile” is earning more than $700,000 per day on iOS and Android and has grossed more than $16 million to date, according to Sensor Tower. Ubisoft and Electronic Arts round out the top three with 104 and 84 apps, respectively.
“The fact that games publishers dominate this list is hardly surprising, as there is typically far more marketing might applied to game launches, and more volatility surrounding games reaching the No. 1 ranking in general,” said Sensor Tower head of mobile insights Randy Nelson.
When it comes to number one paid iOS apps, Electronic Arts took the top spot with 72. But, Nelson points out most of those games were from the earlier days of the App Store when paid games were popular and EA was one of the most prolific publishers. Square Enix (44 apps) and Capcom (30 apps) appear on the list as well.
Meanwhile, French publisher Gameloft has the most number one top grossing iOS apps, 89 total. Electronic Arts had 78, while Glu Games had 66. Tencent has 40 number one top grossing apps, including its popular MOBA “Honor of Kings,” called “Arena of Valor” in the West. Tencent is currently working to bring “Arena of Valor” to the Nintendo Switch and plans to launch a closed beta sometime this summer.