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Apps are for playing — at least, that’s what sales would suggest.

Game companies dominated App Annie’s list of the top-grossing app publishers for both iOS and Android in 2014, released this week. Of the top 10, all were either publishers or had dipped into gaming in some manner. (Mixi, for example, is Japan’s top social network; but it also distributes Monster Strike regionally.)

App Annie top 10 publishers

Above: The top 10 highest-grossing app publishers of 2014.

Image Credit: App Annie

According to other App Annie reports, the number of smartphones and tablets used for gaming exceeded 1 billion for the first time late last year. Gamers spent more on iOS and Google Play games last year than they did on handheld consoles like the Nintendo 3DS or the PlayStation Vita.

The top names will be mostly familiar to U.S. audiences. Electronic Arts and Bandai Namco are longtime gaming names. Supercell publishes Clash of Clans; King is a regional publisher for Candy Crush Saga, as is Tencent; GungHo does Puzzle & Dragons; Machine Zone publishes Game of War.


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Others are more popular overseas: Line publishes Disney Tsum Tsum, and COLOPL publishes Battle Robots.

app annie top 15 january

Above: The top-selling 15 games in January, according to a separate App Annie report.

Image Credit: App Annie

App Annie produces regular reports that focus specifically on gaming, as well, but it’s intriguing to see how many publishers made the top 52 top-grossing list for 2014 when so many mobile games are free-to-play.

The company selects 52 firms because they turn the list into a limited-edition deck of playing cards.

App Annie cards

Above: App Annie’s top publishers deck.

Image Credit: App Annie

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