Shooter Games Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)

Louise Wylie

Updated: January 8, 2024

Shooter games have a long history pre-smartphones, firstly as arcade attractions, then desktop games and subsequently as console titles. Several franchises have dominated and generated massive revenue streams, including Battlefield, Halo, Counter-Strike, and Call of Duty.

From the launch of the first Call of Duty for Microsoft Windows in 2003, the franchise experienced stratospheric growth.  Versions for the PlayStation and the Xbox soon followed. Early games in the series were first-person shooters set during the Second World War, before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released in 2007, switching the setting to the 21st century. This turned out to be the breakthrough title for the series.

Lifetime sales of the Call of Duty franchise surpassed 425 million in 2022, earning more than $30 billion in revenue. When the first app instalment of the series was released in 2019, it was one of the largest mobile game launches in history with 270 million downloads in the first year.

With the continued popularity of pre-existing shooter video games, it was a natural step for shooter games to be developed and thrive on mobile. These apps have various settings and features, and can be single-player or multiplayer, first-person or third-person, and the vast majority come with some microtransaction layer.

The genre has maintained its position as fifth in the mobile games revenue charts since 2020 according to figures released by Sensor Tower, but overall revenue and download figures are declining more rapidly than the rest of the sector. It  constitutes seven percent of all game revenue spent in Asia, five percent in Europe, and four percent in North America.

In August 2020, the Fortnite app was removed from the App Store in a dispute over Apple’s commission on in-app purchases. Developer Epic Games sued Apple, with both parties left unsatisfied with the ruling. This left the way clear for the “Big 3” shooter games – PUBG Mobile, Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile – to carve out most of the market.

There is a diverse range of revenue streams available to games apps, but a structure which is key for most of the top games apps is Live Ops. Live Ops treat games as a live service and continually delivers new features and updates to increase player engagement and retention. The world’s top 10 revenue generating mobile games in 2022 supported their titles through this structure, including PUBG Mobile.

Another stream for apps is loot boxes, bundles of virtual items which can be accessed through gameplay or purchased directly. However, this method is under investigation by the European Commission amid concerns about consumer protection and gambling, putting the revenue stream at risk.

Perhaps concerningly for the genre, very few recent games are climbing revenue or download charts, and user interest seems to be down. While a touch-control version of Fortnite is now available on iOS and Android via the streaming game service GeForce Now, its unlikely that it will return to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store anytime soon.

We have collected data and statistics on the shooter game sub-sector. Read on below to find out more.

Key Shooter Game Statistics

  • The shooter game sub-sector generated $4.6 billion in revenue in 2022, a 27% decrease from the previous year
  • Shooter game apps were downloaded 1.8 billion times last year, a fall from 2.8 billion in 2020
  • PUBG Mobile has the highest number of average monthly users, at 120 million

Top Shooter Game Apps

App NameDescription MobileOne of the "Big Three" competitive shooters - along with Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile - since the removal of Fortnite from the App Store in 2020, PUBG Mobile is a free-to-play battle royale game Free FireFree Fire was the second most downloaded mobile game app in 2022 and its graphically enhanced version, Free Fire Max, was released in 2021 of Duty: MobileWith many similar features to previous games in the Call of Duty franchise, this mobile version launched in 2019 with 270 million downloads within the first year OutNetEase's multiplayer battle royale game earned over $200 million in 2022 free-to-play first person shooter CrossFire allows players to choose from competitive and cooperative modes StarsMade by the Finnish company behind Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, Brawl Stars is a multiplayer online battle arena RobotsPlayers of War Robots compete in teams of 6 versus 6 in a live battlefield

Shooter Game App Revenue

Revenue in the shooter game sub-sector fell in the last year, from $6.3 billion to $4.6 billion, following steep growth during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shooter game app sector annual revenue 2019 to 2022 ($bn)

Shooter Game Revenue by App

Earning $1.1 billion in 2022, PUBG Mobile had the second highest revenue of any game app. Free Fire and Free Fire MAX combined generated almost $450 million, with Call of Duty: Mobile racking in $306 million.

Shooter game revenue by app 2022 ($mm)

AppRevenue ($mm)
PUBG Mobile1121
Free Fire310
Call of Duty: Mobile306
Knives Out208
Brawl Stars172
Free Fire MAX137
War Robots80
World of Tanks Blitz38.6

Source: AppMagic

Shooter Game App Usage

PUBG Mobile leads usage figures with 120 million average monthly users, while Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile remain popular with 80 million and 53 million users respectively.

Shooter game average monthly users by app (mm)

AppUsers (mm)
PUBG Mobile120
Free Fire80
Call of Duty: Mobile53
War Robots15

Source: Tencent, License Global, Venture Beat, Dot Esports

Shooter Game App Downloads

Downloads of shooter games peaked in 2020 with a surge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic. There were a billion more downloads in 2020 than in 2022.

Shooter game downloads 2019 to 2022 (bn)

Shooter Game Downloads by App

Free Fire MAX and Free Fire topped the download lists in 2022, with a combined 215 million downloads.

Shooter game downloads by app 2022 (mm)

AppDownloads (mm)
Free Fire MAX109
Free Fire106
PUBG Mobile100
Find the Alien78
1945 Air Force74
Sniper 3D58
Brawl Stars44.7
Call of Duty: Mobile43
Space Shooter35

Sources: Apptopia, AppMagic

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