China-based megacorp Tencent has taken the top spot in market research firm Newzoo's recent report
ranking the top 10 highest-grossing public game companies, suggesting that its investments in mobile and free-to-play games (including developers like Epic and Riot Games) are drumming up remarkable revenue.
This is notable for industry watchers because it further reinforces the notion that free-to-play and mobile game companies are competing with -- and, at least in Tencent's case, eclipsing -- traditional AAA game publishers like Activision Blizzard, EA, Sony and Microsoft in terms of revenue.
The report is based on game sales data culled from public earnings statements from January through June of 2014, and sees Tencent's revenues jumping 40 percent year-over-year to $3.5 billion for the first half of the year -- over a billion more than EA, which takes second place in Newzoo's revenue ranking.
This is in line with Tencent's recent financial reports -- the parent company of Riot Games pushed $1 billion in profits
in its most recent quarter on the back of game sales, which account for over half of the firm's total revenue. The company is reporting a surge in sales of smartphone games spread by its WeChat (Weixan in China) mobile messaging platform, which now has over 438 million users worldwide.
Mobile game companies like Apple, Google, King (Candy Crush Saga
) and GungHo (Puzzle & Dragons
) fill out the rest of Newzoo's ranking
, which we've taken the liberty of embedding below.