What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

Welcome to an exciting journey into the world of video games! In this article, you’ll uncover fascinating facts about the highest-grossing video game franchise. Get ready to dive into the story behind the incredible success, memorable titles, and impressive sales figures that make this franchise a titan in the gaming industry. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just curious, this captivating exploration will leave you amazed and informed. Have you ever wondered what the highest-grossing video game franchise is? It’s an interesting question, especially considering the plethora of games available in today’s market. Video games have evolved from simple pixelated graphics to complex, immersive experiences with rich narratives and stunning visuals. The industry has grown exponentially, generating billions in revenue and solidifying its place in entertainment history. But which franchise reigns supreme in terms of gross revenue?

What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

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The Contenders: Setting the Stage

Understanding which franchise takes the crown involves a look at some of the most iconic names in gaming. Let’s explore some of the main contenders.


Pokémon is one of the most influential and recognizable franchises in gaming and popular culture. Launched in 1996, the franchise includes games, trading cards, television shows, movies, and merchandise. With its “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” tagline, Pokémon has captured the hearts of millions and generated substantial revenue.


Mario is another heavy hitter. First appearing in 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong, Mario has been Nintendo’s flagship franchise. The lovable plumber has appeared in over 200 games, spanning multiple genres, from platformers and racing games to puzzle and sports games.

Call of Duty

Call of Duty (CoD) is a behemoth in the first-person shooter genre. Known for its immersive war settings and intense multiplayer mode, the franchise has consistently topped sales charts. Launched in 2003, it has a loyal fan base and regularly releases new installments annually.

What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is famous for its open-world gameplay, allowing players to explore fictional cities while engaging in various missions. Known for its mature themes and detailed environments, GTA has a massive appeal and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

The Financial Breakdown

Now that you know the main players, let’s break down the financials. The revenue isn’t just about game sales; it also includes merchandise, movie adaptations, and more.

Pokémon Revenue Streams

Revenue Source Estimated Revenue (in billions)
Video Games $90
Mobile Games $6
Merchandise $64
Card Game $10
Movies and TV Shows $5

Mario Revenue Streams

Revenue Source Estimated Revenue (in billions)
Video Games $36
Mobile Games $1.5
Merchandise $2
Movies and TV Shows $1

Call of Duty Revenue Streams

Revenue Source Estimated Revenue (in billions)
Video Games $30
Mobile Games $2
Merchandise $0.5
Movies and TV Shows $0.1

Grand Theft Auto Revenue Streams

Revenue Source Estimated Revenue (in billions)
Video Games $14
Merchandise $0.2

From the tables above, Pokémon seems to have a clear advantage when incorporating all forms of revenue generation.

What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

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Cultural Impact

Revenue is a significant metric, but cultural impact holds weight too. Let’s delve into how each of these franchises has influenced society.

Pokémon’s Global Influence

Pokémon has transcended mere gaming to become a global cultural phenomenon. The franchise has educational value, with many kids learning about strategy, responsibility, and even math through its various forms of media. Pokémon Go, the franchise’s mobile game, revolutionized augmented reality games and brought people outdoors, fostering social interactions and physical activity.

Mario: The Face of Gaming

Considered the face of Nintendo, Mario has been a part of gaming history and culture for decades. From appearing in the iconic Super Mario Bros. to racing in Mario Kart, this franchise has brought people of all ages together, offering a fun and accessible gaming experience. Fans gather annually for events like National Mario Day to celebrate the impact of the franchise.

Call of Duty’s Competitive Scene

Call of Duty has a massive online multiplayer following, contributing significantly to the rise of eSports. With tournaments offering substantial prize money, it has helped professionalize competitive gaming. The franchise also serves as a social hub where friends and strangers connect, strategize, and compete.

Grand Theft Auto’s Mature Themes

Grand Theft Auto, while controversial, has pushed the boundaries of what video games can address. Its mature themes and realistic portrayals of urban life have sparked discussions about media influence. The franchise has been both criticized and praised for its cinematic storytelling and complex narrative elements.

Technological and Gameplay Innovations

Each franchise has brought something unique to gaming technology and gameplay mechanics. Understanding these innovations helps us see why these games are so beloved.

Pokémon’s Evolution

Pokémon games have continuously evolved with each new installment. From the original Game Boy versions to the most recent Switch titles, the franchise has incorporated new features like online trading and battling, new types of Pokémon, and more sophisticated graphics. Pokémon Go also showcased the potential of augmented reality in gaming.

Mario’s Versatility

Mario’s strength lies in its versatility. Not only has the character successfully transitioned from 2D to 3D, but the franchise also spans various genres. Mario games are known for their polished mechanics, engaging level designs, and charming aesthetics, setting high standards in platform gaming.

Call of Duty’s Realism

Call of Duty is known for its realistic portrayal of war zones. The franchise has invested heavily in motion capture technology, bringing lifelike animations and facial expressions to its characters. Additionally, the game’s audio design and intricate multiplayer features offer a level of immersion that is hard to beat.

Grand Theft Auto’s Open Worlds

Grand Theft Auto revolutionized open-world gameplay. The franchise’s detailed cities, NPC interactions, and freedom of choice have set a benchmark for open-world games. Each installment offers increasingly sophisticated storytelling and world-building, providing players with a rich, immersive experience.

What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

Influence on Other Media

The impact of these franchises extends beyond gaming. They’ve influenced films, television, music, and even literature.

Pokémon’s Expansive Universe

Pokémon started as a simple video game but has grown into a multimedia universe. The anime series, with Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, has run for over two decades, delighting fans of all ages. Numerous movies, including animated and live-action adaptations like Detective Pikachu, have broadened its reach.

Mario’s Cinematic Journey

Mario has also ventured into films, though with mixed success. The 1993 live-action film was critically panned, but it has become a cult classic over time. Anticipation is high for upcoming animated projects, given their potential to do justice to the beloved franchise.

Call of Duty’s War Stories

Call of Duty has yet to fully break into other media, but its war stories have inspired books and short films. The intricate and often morally ambiguous narratives have the potential to translate well into movies or series, exploring the deeper themes of war and conflict.

Grand Theft Auto’s Urban Tales

Grand Theft Auto’s detailed storytelling has influenced modern crime dramas and urban tales in various media. While there hasn’t been an official film adaptation, the game’s influence is evident in many gritty, realistic portrayals of city life and organized crime in movies and TV series.

The Future

It’s essential to consider what the future holds for these franchises. They have not rested on their laurels but continue to innovate and captivate audiences worldwide.

Pokémon’s New Horizons

Pokémon continues to evolve, exploring new gaming genres and technologies. With The Pokémon Company investing in new games and expanding the Pokémon universe, it’s clear that the franchise will remain relevant for many years to come.

Mario’s New Adventures

Mario games consistently receive updates and new installments. With the recent success of titles like Super Mario Odyssey and the continued popularity of Mario Kart, the future looks bright. Collaborative projects and new creative directions are on the horizon.

Call of Duty’s Next Battlefield

Call of Duty remains a staple in the FPS genre. With the continual release of new games and updates, the franchise is unlikely to lose its momentum. Expect more innovation in multiplayer experiences and possibly new explorations in augmented or virtual reality settings.

Grand Theft Auto’s Continued Stories

Grand Theft Auto’s developer, Rockstar Games, is known for its meticulous attention to detail and high-quality storytelling. With GTA V’s continued success and anticipation for GTA VI, the franchise will likely continue to push the boundaries of open-world gaming.

What Is The Highest-grossing Video Game Franchise?

Conclusion: The Crown Holder

After examining revenue, cultural impact, technological innovation, influence on other media, and future prospects, it becomes evident that Pokémon takes the crown as the highest-grossing video game franchise. With its vast array of revenue streams, cultural significance, and continual evolution, Pokémon stands out not just as a game but as a multifaceted entertainment juggernaut.

So, next time someone asks you about the highest-grossing video game franchise, you can confidently point to Pokémon, armed with a wealth of knowledge about why it has earned this status. Keep playing, stay curious, and who knows? Maybe your favorite game will be the next big thing.

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