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SuperData’s July 2017 report sees PC rank reshuffle, Pokemon Go’s return, and GTAO’s console dominance

SuperData’s July 2017 revenue report isn’t going to surprise anyone, I suspect, but it’s worth a look. On the PC side, there are no new entries since last month, and though League of Legends still tops the list in terms of global revenue, the rankings have been reshuffled, with World of Warcraft moving up to 5th, Dungeon Fighter Online displacing Crossfire, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds holding steady in the middle of the pack, and Dota 2 slipping down several places. (Expect Dota to resurge next report.)

On mobile, Pokemon Go has returned to the list for the first time in several months, landing at #7. Lineage M debuts at #3 for mobile, but Honor of Kings and Fantasy Westward Journey retain their top spots.

The analysis firm throws nods to Grand Theft Auto V, still riding in the front car of the console train. “Grand Theft Auto V stands strong for another month,” SuperData says. “Through its microtransactions model, GTA Online grew significantly year-over-year for the month of July across console and PC. It did not outperform its record-breaking numbers in June.”

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Flameseeker Chronicles: First impressions of Guild Wars 2’s Flashpoint

I can’t quite believe that we are already on the penultimate chapter of Guild Wars 2‘s third Living World season, but if I were under any illusion that the story is rolling quickly toward its climax, then it was shattered upon watching the fabulous trailer for this story instalment. The fifth episode of Living World Season 3 is available to experience for yourselves right now and I know so many of you will be thrilled with its shocking reveals and fast-building action. The episode in question, dubbed Flashpoint, takes us into the thick of the action in yet another lore-rich zone that’s bursting with intrigue. Logging on any time from now until the release of the final episode of Season 3 will bank Flashpoint in your story journal for later play, so don’t forget to relog if you aren’t actively playing right now.

I was invited to another super-quick playthrough with the developers on the stage client in preparation for today’s launch so that I could throw out some quick first impressions to coincide with release day for this week’s Flameseeker Chronicles. I had a 30-minute guided session with the devs followed by free rein over the last weekend, but large chunks of what I experienced is information I’m not allowed to divulge just yet. I played through a little over a chapter during my playtesting and my jaw was on the floor for most of that time, so I do urge you to check out the content for yourself if you’re at all invested in the lore. Although my coverage will be as spoiler-free as possible, proceed with caution until you have played through for yourselves if you’re worried.

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SuperData February 2017: World of Tanks perks up, Hearthstone is sinking

Happy SuperData day! That’s the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren’t on the current list. This round, there’s lots to bicker over — but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.

On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW’s status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it’s omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we’re left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.

On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it’s absurd that it’s on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.

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Smilegate pushes Crossfire in the west with a new European office

What the heck is Crossfire? It’s a game that makes quite a bit of money, according to SuperData; we’re talking in the “massive numbers at the top of the list” category here. And yet it hasn’t really gained much traction in the west for whatever reason, as evidenced by the fact that this piece could open off with “what the heck is Crossfire” and most of our readers were probably nodding. So the fact that Smilegate is opening a European branch to help push the brand should say something.

Smilegate Europe’s biggest push will be getting Crossfire accepted as an eSports venue, although it’s probably facing an uphill battle against existing Western favorites such as Overwatch. Still, more games is a good thing, isn’t it? Time will tell if this push finally breaks open the western market for the title or ultimately fails to make a dent.

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SuperData: Pokemon Go sinks during record-setting December sales season

The analysts at SuperData have released to the public part of a report on December 2016’s gaming industry today, calling December a “weak month for retail software sales in the United States” following its “worst December in two decades,” though console revenue was booming with a “record sales quarter.”

Over on the PC side, the top-grossing games list hasn’t changed much since November. League of Legends, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, and World of Warcraft still sit in the top four slots; while the bottom has reshuffled, with CS:GO and Overwatch bumping up a bit, it’s still the same ol’ games.

On the mobile list, however, Pokemon Go has fallen from the top slot to #4 (it’s cold out there!). Collectible card games are continuing to make piles of money off us, too.

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Superdata: WoW now charges a full monthly sub in China

Superdata’s digital games market report for August 2016 landed in our inbox today. Those of you who’ve been consistently frustrated and confused over the way Superdata bins games might be happy to know that the research firm is now reporting just three categories, but unfortunately, that means most core MMORPGs will be kept off the list entirely and the data are far less interesting to us (and more likely to be more or less static from month to month).

League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Crossfire continue to dominate in terms of global revenue on the PC side, while Overwatch shows up in the top 10 for both PC and console. No one will be surprised by Pokemon Go’s place at the top of the mobile category. The researchers claim that Overwatch and World of Warcraft “show shifting Chinese spending habits” and note that Chinese players are now paying for WoW subs in monthly chunks.

“NetEase also recently changed their payment policy for World of Warcraft with the rollout of the title’s new Legion expansion. Rather than let Chinese gamers pay by the hour in tiny increments, players are now required to pay upfront for full monthly subscriptions. Despite this, the expansion was very well received in China with NetEase-processed revenue up to $37 million in August compared to $8 million in July. The success of both [WoW and Overwatch] goes against the assumption that Chinese gamers will never warm up to paying for games upfront, and provides evidence that it is possible to convince Chinese consumers to purchase high quality full-priced games. Whether this will fundamentally change the market remains to be seen, as local gaming behemoth and NetEase rival Tencent is still sticking to free-to-play.”

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Superdata’s June report shows Overwatch, WoW still on top

Superdata’s latest report on the worldwide digital games market is out, and Overwatch owned the month of June on PC, to no one’s surprise, with GTA Online “dominating” (their word) by showing up on both the top 5 PC and console lists.

The pay-to-play MMO revenue list has held steady through May and June. World of Warcraft still holds the top spot, but the addition of Fantasy Westward Journey II at #2 back in May dropped Lineage, SWTOR, and TERA one place apiece and booted Blade & Soul from the top five altogether, and there they still sit. The free-to-play revenue list has been immutable this summer, with League of Legends, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Tanks, and Dota 2 maintaining their positions.

The research firm highlights Evolve’s free-to-play re-launch and says it expects more shooters — like Battleborn — to change up their business models accordingly. It also argues that CS:GO may actually benefit from the crackdown on third-party gambling sites and that the mobile market is being hamstrung by severe new regulations in China. “We expect stagnant mobile revenues until Chinese publishers and developers figure out exactly how the new laws will be implemented,” the firm writes.

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Superdata predicts China will buy up more western gaming publishers

Superdata has released a summary of its research on the worldwide digital games market for February 2016, claiming that the digital games market sales have increased by 10% year-over-year. League of Legends, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Tanks, and Dota 2 lead the pack for “F2P MMO Games” by revenue, while the top-grossing sub MMOs by revenue are World of Warcraft, Lineage, TERA, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Blade & Soul. Yes, we are likewise puzzled over the classifications.

The firm predicts more sales of western companies to China, headlined by the impending sale of British-owned Jagex to a mining company overseas:

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Superdata says League of Legends makes more money than any other game you play

Let’s just get this out of the way: Superdata is a research firm that sells its data analysis. It doesn’t disclose its methodology or sources if you don’t pony up for them. However, what it does make public is worth mulling over, and this week the company released top 10 lists for console games, PC games, and mobile games by gross revenue. If you’ve been paying any attention at all, the numbers won’t surprise you: The firm has named League of Legends the world’s “top-grossing digital game“:

“Riot’s League of Legends shows no signs of slowing down as December proved to be the game’s highest-earning month in its history. Close followers were Clash of Clans ($1.3B), CrossFire ($1.1B) and Dungeon Fighter Online ($1.05B) rounding out last year’s titles that earned over a billion dollars. Despite not being a household names in the west, games like CrossFire and Dungeon Fighter Online perform well thanks to the strength and momentum in markets like South Korea and China.”

The PC revenue chart is entirely online games, a number of them true MMOs, for that matter, including Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Warcraft, World of Tanks, Lineage, and Maplestory.

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Massively Overthinking: Are boutique MMOs the future?

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Taemys, who just so happens to be a guildie of mine. He’s clever, and so is his concern:

“Are all the smaller, ’boutique’ MMO’s the future? To put it another way, do you think we’ll see anything as big as World of Warcraft or EverQuest again?”

I put his questions to the Massively OP writers, who as usual were happy to overthink them!

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Sanctions force World of Warcraft, Diablo III ban in Crimea

When gamers are caught in the crossfire of international politics, bad things can happen.

Due to US sanctions against Russia, World of Warcraft and Diablo III service to the Crimea region was suspended yesterday. Blizzard said that it did not have a choice in the matter: “In accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account. All current subscriptions will be canceled.”

Blizzard is the latest company that has had to rescind business with the region due to sanctions, following others such as Apple and Amazon. Economic sanctions against the peninsula were levied by President Obama in December 2014.

[Source: The Moscow Times]

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Nexon, Smilegate top eastern revenue charts

Last year was a very good year indeed for Nexon, which made $393M in revenue in 2014. However, Smilegate clambered up to second place with an impressive $275.8M during the same period, largely thanks to the success of the online shooter CrossFire.

MMO Culture has a chart on the top 10 publishers in Asia for last year. Third place went to NCsoft, followed by Netmarble and Com2uS. We’ll be keeping a particular close eye on Smilegate, as the company is in charge of handling the gorgeous-looking OARPG Lost Ark.

[Source: MMO Culture. Thanks to Paul for the tip!]

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