The Most Popular Video Games That Generated Tons of Cash
Video games have changed over the years. While they started out with simple dots on a screen, they've evolved into incredibly realistic, immersive worlds. With so many games, you can do everything from slay dragons to build an entire city from scratch.
Something many video games do is bring home huge bucks. With growing player bases, studios have a bigger shot at financial success with each game they produce. These games are some of the most profitable to be released in the medium's history.
It's hard to escape anything Fortnite-related anymore. From its dances to its massive tournaments, Fortnite has won over gamers around the world. Released in 2017, the game's Battle Royale mode has led to sleepless nights for many people.
League of Legends
Riot Games unveiled League of Legends in 2009. Over time, the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) grew in popularity with over 100 million monthly players. League of Legends also has one of the biggest eSports competitions with its annual World Championship. Nearly 100 million unique viewers saw 2018's League of Legends World Championship.
Pac-Man was created as an alternative to the massive number of sports and war games on the market. Developed by Toru Iwatani, the game had a slow climb to becoming a success. Two years after its launch, the game had over 30 million players in the United States.
Following the release of Atari's Breakout, designer Tomohiro Nishikado wanted to make a shooting game in its style. After a year of production, Space Invaders was born. One standout aspect of the game was its music. At the time, game music didn't change along with what happened on the screen. This gave Space Invaders an edge over others in the arcade.
Pokemon is one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. After catching Pokemon on screen for two decades, Niantic wanted to make the game’s objective realistic. Pokemon Go combines the game's addictiveness with augmented reality for an unforgettable experience.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Inspired by Golden Axe and Double Dragon, Dungeon Fighter Online brings beat-'em-up action to the PC. While 3D games dominated the market, Dungeon Fighter Online stayed true to classic 2D fun. The game spawned an anime series and a manga, too.
The Nintendo Wii was a game-changer with its interactivity and appeal to gamers of all ages. People trying to lose weight found that Wii Fit seamlessly incorporated itself into their daily routines. Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to make working out a family activity. Wii Fit featured a slew of activities to complete atop the Wii Balance Board peripheral accessory.
Candy Crush Saga
If there's one mobile game parents want banned, it's probably Candy Crush Saga. The game was originally released through Facebook in 2012. Months later, the game made its way to Android and iOS. Following the jump to mobile, Candy Crush Saga saw overnight success with millions of players.
Created by developer Markus Persson, Minecraft brought sandbox gaming to unbelievable heights. Time Magazine listed it as number six on its 50 Best Video Games of All Time list in 2016. A handful of spinoff games were released, including Minecraft: Story Mode. The game's popularity has spawned a forthcoming Hollywood film adaptation.
2006's Wii Sports brought friends together for the love of sports. Tennis, golf, baseball, bowling and boxing are available for friendly and competitive play. This game has been the catalyst for parties and competitions worldwide.
Released in 2007, CrossFire is a game with a small fanbase in North America. Despite this, the shooter is a huge hit in South Korea and China. The game has around 660 million registered accounts, which is one of the highest numbers for any game. With 8 million monthly players, CrossFire still brings a plethora of action to its fans.
World of Warcraft
Released in 2004, World of Warcraft set the standard for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) everywhere with its engaging gameplay. Over the years, many expansions were released, including 2012's Mists of Pandaria and 2018's Battle for Azeroth.
Street Fighter II
Fighting-game fans can't deny the impact of Street Fighter II. Released in 1991, the game arrived at the apex of arcade gaming. Following Street Fighter II's success, many updated versions were released to arcades and home consoles. Street Fighter II: Championship Edition has been the most successful updated version released.
Without Tetris, where would gaming have gone in the '80s? Created by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris is the most accessible game ever. People who don't play video games have found themselves racking their brains in Tetris. It even helped launch Nintendo's Game Boy back in 1989.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls series has been filled with unforgettable games such as Morrowind and Oblivion. Skyrim took everything from previous Elder Scrolls games and cranked things up by 100. Fans have spent hundreds of hours traversing the vast universe laid out for them. You don't even have to beat the game to truly appreciate it.
Combining soccer with vehicles sounds like a wild idea on paper. Fortunately, Psyonix made it work with 2015's Rocket League. The game is a sequel to Psyonix's 2008 game Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. While Supersonic didn't hit the mark, Rocket League came at the perfect time.
Released in 1998, medieval MMORPG Lineage took some time to gain an active fanbase. By 2006, there were 43 million players involved in the universe. While the game was huge in South Korea, it was completely dead in North America. In 2011, game developer NCSOFT permanently shut down the North American servers.
Puzzle & Dragons
"Match three" games are extremely common on mobile phones, but Puzzle & Dragons keeps it fresh. Aside from its own story, the game has collaborated with various other franchises. Magic: The Gathering, Final Fantasy and Dragon Ball have been featured in the game. In 2012, Puzzle & Dragons won the CEDEC Game Design award.
Influenced by Magic: The Gathering, Blizzard decided to make a card game based on World of Warcraft. The end result is Hearthstone, which was released in 2014. The game attracted Warcraft fans and card-game lovers alike. Forbes named Hearthstone's beta the best card game of 2013. The game has become a rising force in eSports.
The Sims 4
The Sims franchise has given folks a chance to experience digital life in a new way. Released in 2013, The Sims 4 was the best-selling PC game for two years in a row. This installment of the franchise included special Star Wars downloadable content in celebration of 2015's The Force Awakens.
The award-winning Fallout series has delivered some unique experiences for its players. Following Fallout: New Vegas, there was pressure during Fallout 4's development. Fortunately, the 2014 game brought fans a more advanced world. This was also the first Fallout game in which the hero had an actual voice.
Honor of Kings/Arena of Valor
In 2015, Tencent Games hit the goldmine with Honor of Kings. Unfortunately, the MOBA has been a huge concern amongst parents in China. The Chinese government banned kids ages 12 and under from playing it between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 can only play it for two hours a day.
Following the successful anime series Fate/stay night, Delightworks capitalized on the content with the mobile RPG Fate/Grand Order. The game became a hit with anime lovers around the world with over 32 million downloads. The game also became an anime with 2019's Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia.
Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle
Dragon Ball Z is one of the most recognizable anime franchises ever. With numerous games under its belt, another one wouldn't hurt. Released in 2015, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle merged card games, board games and puzzle games for an intriguing experience. Developer Akatsuki Inc. was chosen to work with Bandai Namco Entertainment for this game.
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans was one of the most-talked-about mobile games of 2015 following its Super Bowl ad. The commercial, which starred Liam Neeson, was one of the most-watched ads during the event. The strategy game allows players to go to war in epic battles ranging from 5v5 to 50v50 players.
Mobile Strike got its big break following a Super Bowl ad featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The ad, which launched months after the game's release, brought countless eyes to the product. Gaining 100 million views, Schwarzenegger's involvement caused many people to hop onto Mobile Strike. People who never touched a mobile game found themselves getting hooked.
In 2016, mobile strategy game Clash Royale exploded onto the market. Numerous cities across the country have weekly Clash Royale tournaments. In 2018, developer Supercell unveiled the Clash Royale League for its world championship. The winning team was awarded a $1 million prize.
Months before Fortnite stepped in, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was the battle royale king. The beta version earned the game the Best Multiplayer Game Award at The Game Awards in 2017. Upon its official release, almost everyone on Twitch played the game.
After Nintendo couldn't license a Popeye video game, Shigeru Miyamoto had to come up with a new title. Inspired by King Kong, the director worked on a new character called Donkey Kong. In 1981, the Donkey Kong game hit arcades to loud fanfare and a failed lawsuit by Universal Studios.
Grand Theft Auto V
You might be hard-pressed to find a more controversial franchise than Grand Theft Auto. When news of Grand Theft Auto V broke in 2011, people cleared their calendars. On launch night, thousands waited in line to dive into this mayhem before everyone got their hands on it.