Who Are The Top App Publishers in the United States?

Tony Myers | January 20, 2016

Uncategorized

US APP PUBS Badge_2015

Revenue from software publishing in the US in general was estimated to be in the region of $196bn for 2015 and is expected to keep on growing with mobile apps in particular remaining popular and prevalent in our day-to-day activities.

Exclusive Bonus:  Download the PDF guide to United States App Publishers

As in any business, not just app publishing, breaking into the US market is a huge challenge, but it can be done. So, using latest research from App Annie, we thought it would be useful to spotlight the top app publishers in the United States to give you an idea of the scope and scale of the market. Not surprisingly, most of the companies are located on the West Coast and publish games or gambling apps, but not all are tech companies, per se – and interestingly, not all are US companies. Read on!

Machine Zone

MZ

Machine Zone is focused on creating free-to-play mobile social games, including Game of War – Fire Age, iMob 2, Original Gangstaz, and Global War. Its games have been downloaded and played by more than 45 million global gamers with all having reached top grossing app store rankings.

Machine Zone Key Facts

Screenshot of MZ’s popular Game of War game

game-of-war-homepage-preview2

Supercell

supercell logo

Supercell is a mobile game developer based in Helsinki, Finland, with offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.  Since its founding in 2010, the company has brought three ‘blockbuster’ games to the market – Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach.

Supercell Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 2
  • Apps: 6 (Publishers 2)
  • Revenue: $1.7 billion (2014)
  • Google Play Apps: 3
  • iOS Apps: 3
  • Top Apps: Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach
  • Employees: 152
  • HQ:  Helsinki, Finland
  • Founded: 2010

Screenshot of Supercell’s bombastic Boom Beach game

boombeach

King.com

King-com-logo-2013-teaser

King.com is the leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, with more than 180 titles in 14 languages. Hits include Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, Papa Pear Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Bubble Witch Saga. The publisher has game studios in Stockholm, Barcelona, Bucharest, Malmö and London, along with offices in San Francisco and Malta. In November 2015, it was announced that King is set to be acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion by the first quarter, 2016.

King.com Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 3
  • Apps: 45 (Publishers 4: Subsidiaries 1)
  • Revenue: $570 million for first quarter 2015
  • Google Play Apps: 24
  • iOS Apps: 20
  • Top Apps: Candy Crush Soda Saga, et al
  • Employees: 1,400
  • HQ: London
  • Founded: 2003

Screengrab of two of King.com’s popular games

king_screengrab2

Electronic Arts

EA_logo

Electronic Arts is a global leader in games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. The company has more than 300 million registered players around the world playing blockbuster brands such as The Sims, Madden NFL, EA SPORTS FIFA, Battlefield, Dragon Age and Plants vs. Zombies.

Electronic Arts Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 4
  • Apps: 667 (Publishers: 12 Subsidiaries: 3)
  • Revenue: net revenue of $1.146 billion (second fiscal quarter 2015)
  • Google Play Apps: 167
  • iOS Apps: 401
  • Top Apps: See above and Star Wars Battlefront (released December 2015)
  • Employees: 5,00+
  • HQ: Redwood City, CA
  • Founded: 1982

Screenshot of EA’s latest game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes

EA_starwars

Caesars Entertainment

ceasarslogo

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. operates casinos and hotels, but makes our list through its online poker, bingo and gaming apps and its subsidiary of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc that includes a whole bunch of online casino games.

Caesars Entertainment Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 5
  • Apps: 36 ( Publishers 10: Subsidiaries 3)
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 12
  • iOS Apps: 21
  • Top Apps: Gambling (State restrictions apply)
  • Employees: N/A
  • HQ: Las Vegas, NV
  • Founded: 1998

Screenshot of Caesars Entertainment games page

ceasars_screen

Big Fish Games

Big_Fish_Games_logo

Big Fish Games is a game development studio and a game distribution platform for third party developers, acquired by parent company Churchill Downs in 2014. The social casino game, Big Fish Casino is its most popular with more available through its Big Fish Games app.

Big Fish Games Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 6
  • Apps: 1,744 (Publishers 7) 6
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 173
  • iOS Apps: 1,319
  • Top Apps: Big Fish Games App
  • Employees: 1,000
  • HQ: Seattle, WA
  • Founded: 2002

Screenshot of Big Fish Game’s page

big fish games screen

International Game Technology

IGT Logo

IGT describes itself as ‘The World’s Leading End-to-End Gaming Company’, specialising in gaming machines and lotteries to interactive and social gaming.

International Game Technology Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 7
  • Apps: 3 (Publishers 3: Subsidiaries 1)
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 1
  • iOS Apps: 2
  • Top Apps: Double Down Casino – Free Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, and More
  • Employees: 1,000
  • HQ: Reno, NV
  • Founded: 1974

IGT’s Nevada headquarters

PHOTO_IGTLasVegasOffice

Spotify

Spotify_logo_vertical_black

Spotify is a commercial music streaming service that provides restricted digital content from a range of record labels and artists. Users can browse through the interface by artist, album, genre, playlist, record label, and direct searches.

Spotify Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 8
  • Apps: 5 (Publishers 4: Subsidiaries 1)
  • Revenue: $1.3 billion (2014)
  • Google Play Apps: 1
  • iOS Apps: 2
  • Top Apps: Spotify Music
  • Employees: 1,000+
  • HQ: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Founded: 2006

Screenshot of Spotify’s homepage

spotify_screen

Zynga

zynga_vertbox_rgb

Zynga says its  mission is connecting the world through games. More than one billion people around the world have played and connected through Zynga games, and franchises including FarmVille and Words With Friends.Through the company’s philanthropic arm, Zynga.org players have raised more than $6 million for several international nonprofits since it was launched in October 2009.

Zynga Key facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 9
  • Apps: 131 (Publishers: 13 Subsidiaries: 3)
  • Revenue: Sales revenue (2014) $690.41M
  • Google Play Apps: 45
  • iOS Apps: 57
  • Top Apps: FarmVille, Words With Friends, Zynga Poker
  • Employees: 5,000
  • HQ: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded: 2007

Screenshot of Zynga’s latest game – Dawn of the Titans

dawnoftitans

 

Time Warner

time-warner

Time Warner is perhaps too big not to mention, and is basically comprised of four segments: Cable, Filmed Entertainment, Networks, and Publishing and the company also has a strategic alliance with Google.

Time Warner Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) 10
  • Apps: 567 (Publishers 53: Subsidiaries 9)
  • Revenue: (across the whole group)  revenues increased 3% to $27.4 billion in 2014
  • Google Play Apps: 204
  • iOS Apps: 314
  • Top Apps: WatchESPN, NBA LEAGUE PASS, premium channel apps such as HBO and entertainment apps such as National Geographic and MTV.
  • Employees: 10,000+
  • HQ: New York, NY
  • Founded: 1985

Screenshot of Time Warner’s digital output

TIME_WARNER_FOX_PROPOSAL_V2_7-16

And bubbling under our Top 10:

Kabam

Kabam-logo

Kabam is an entertainment company that is one of the world’s leaders of AAA console quality games for mobile devices. Kabam’s “freemium” business model enables players to access games on their mobile devices at no cost or obligation. Players can also pay for premium content in the game to enhance their playing experience.

Kabam Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) –
  • Apps: 37 (Publishers: 6 Subsidiaries: 3)
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 17
  • iOS Apps: 19
  • Top Apps: Star War: Uprising, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and Marvel Contest of Champions
  • Employees: 800+
  • HQ: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded:  2006

Storm8

storm8

Storm8 is a pioneering leader in mobile social games with more than 50 million monthly active users and more than 600 million total downloads to date. Storm8 is also home to three innovative brands: TeamLava, Shark Party and FireMocha. In October (2015) it announced its second game in partnership with Hasbro, Inc with the introduction of the CLUE Bingo mobile game, a free download on iOS and Android.

Storm8 Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) –
  • Apps: 145 (Publishers: 12  Subsidiaries: 4)
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 72
  • iOS Apps: 55
  • Top Apps: MONOPOLY Bingo, CLUE Bingo, Bakery Story 2, Candy Blast Mania
  • Employees: 500
  • HQ: Redwood Shores, CA
  • Founded: 2009

Disney

Disney-logo-vector

Disney Mobile is a subset of Disney Interactive that is responsible for designing mobile apps and managing its content and services.

Disney Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) –
  • Apps: 666 (Publishers 32: Subsidiaries 5)
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Google Play Apps: 200
  • iOS Apps: 390
  • Top Apps: Various
  • Employees: N/A
  • HQ: Palo Alto, CA
  • Founded: N/A

Pandora Media

pandora

Pandora Radio is an internet radio service, recommendation service, and the custodian of the Music Genome Project. Due to copyright and licensing rulings, Pandora is only available in the United States, but Pandora has said that it has plans to extend its service to a global market.

Pandora Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) –
  • Apps: 6 (Publishers 3)
  • Revenue: total mobile revenue for 2014 was $209.5 million
  • Google Play Apps: 3
  • iOS Apps: 1
  • Top Apps: Pandora radio
  • Employees: 1,400
  • HQ: Oakland, California
  • Founded: 2000

Glu

glu_logo

Glu focuses its energy on creating compelling original IP games such as Gun Bros, Deer Hunter, Blood & Glory, and Samurai VS. Zombies Defense on a wide range of platforms. Glu is headquartered in San Francisco with major offices outside Seattle, and overseas in Brazil, Canada, China, and Russia.

Glu Key Facts

  • App Annie Ranking: (by revenue) –
  • Apps: 352 (Publishers 9:  Subsidiaries 3)
  • Revenue: Total GAAP revenues were $223.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014
  • Google Play Apps: 132
  • iOS Apps: 114
  • Top Apps: The above mentioned, plus newcomer James Bond: World of Espionage
  • Employees: 1,000
  • HQ: San Francisco, CA
  • Founded: 2001

 

Conclusion

In the mobile applications business the right partnership can help catapult your app into the top 25, many publishers in our top 10 are now raking in revenue, but nearly all started small with one idea, one app … and all had the ability to follow through.

As Sony’s CEO, Kaz Hirai, says: ‘Getting into the US market requires a lot of resources and marketing, so we have to go one step at a time.”

But, like app publishing in China, where there is a will, and talent, there is certainly a way. We hope this guide to Top US App Publishers will be a useful resource for those interested in the US market.

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USA App Developers

See all US-based app development companies to find the best fit for your business.

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