SuperData has a new report out this week that suggests e-sports haters will not be getting what they want for Christmas.
“The esports market has finally hit the mainstream,” the gaming analysis firm declares, echoing the argument it made in October. “Once only large in core Asian markets like Korea, esports have expanded worldwide and are now top of mind of every publisher, platform, and brand. As recognition of the importance of esports grows, the data and insights needed for strategizing become vital.”
The report estimates that the e-sports industry is on track to grow by almost a billion dollars per year by 2022, driven in part by a huge increase in investment and advertising revenue. It also recognizes the big four games: League of Legends, with its huge viewerbase; Dota 2, with its mega prize pools; Overwatch, which is laying the foundation with city-based teams; and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has drawn over 200M monthly viewers in just half a year during early access.
Bloggers and journalists throughout the online gaming industry have been talking about monetization a lot lately. It’s not just lockbox/gachapon scandals, or their relationship with gambling, but basic monetization and what we want from it. Games, after all, don’t make themselves; we have to pay for something to make that happen. But some gamers seem to view free-to-play games as a game that should be free, not one to be supported if it earns respect. And on the flipside of that, far too few game studios give off a vibe not of experimenting with monetization but of maximizing profits above all else while barely veiling their greed.
However, outside the MMO world, there is a company that’s been doing it “right” for a long time: Nintendo. The AAA developer/publisher is known for both innovation and hesitance, following in others’ footsteps with great trepidation, trying to figure out the ins and outs while entering the mobile market long after it’s been established. The company recently released a new mobile title, but what’s interesting is that it and the company’s last four games are all different genres with different monetization strategies. Exploring these titles and their relationship to their monetization plans will not only highlight the potential success of the models but hint at why they work and how they can be curbed into models gamers and lawmakers can better accept.
may be fudging
, but it still sold a truckton of copies.
That’s according to Superdata, whose most recent revenue report shows Bungie’s new baby holding the #4 spot for PC and #3 spot for console in terms of global revenue for the month of October. “High attach rates for deluxe editions drove the average selling price up,” says the analysis firm, while digital games’ growth across the board “was underpinned by a 28% jump in premium PC thanks to Destiny 2’s successful BattleNet launch, and the continued blockbuster hit of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”
Indeed, PUBG blew past D2 on PC to claim the #2 spot, right behind League of Legends. The real competitor for PUBG, however, is Epic’s Fortnite, which startled the PvE playerbase it had cultivated with a quality battle royale mode earlier this fall.
“While Fortnite has seen a higher out-of-the-gate active user base thanks to its F2P status, the game’s long-term success vs. its major and earlier-released rival is uncertain,” writes SuperData.”
It looks as though the rebels may have defeated the empire — or at least struck a mighty blow to give the latter pause.
CNBC is reporting that the fallout from EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II and its lockboxes has done serious damage to the company’s bottom line. EA’s stock price dove 8.5% following the uproar over Battlefront’s egregious lockboxes, the resulting decision to (temporarily) remove them from the business model, and weaker than expected sales. This means that $3.1 billion of shareholder value has now vanished. That’s no small potatoes.
Wall Street Analyst Doug Creutz said that this may be the catalyst that sets some serious changes in motion for the video game industry: “We think the time has come for the industry to collectively establish a set of standards for MTX implementation, both to repair damaged player perceptions and avoid the threat of regulation.”
Earlier this fall, we learned that Spacetime Studios was working on a new mobile MMO: It’s called Pocket Legends Adventures, an “homage” to what Spacetime says was the “world’s first 3D mobile MMO” — that’d be the ahead-of-its-time Pocket Legends, of course, which the studio followed up with Star Legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends. And as of today, the game’s officially launched into open beta, meaning everyone can pick it up starting today on Android. It’s also on iOS, although that rollout will take more time; Aussie and Malay fans have access right now.
The new game’s not being called an MMO, as Spacetime seems to prefer multiplayer RPG, but it seems as much an MMO as the old game, with a big single-player campaign accompanied by multiplayer content. It’s being described as “an epic, action-packed multiplayer role-playing game for iOS and Android platforms” that boasts “innovative real-time combat, unique skill-based advancement, endless character customization, and extensive single player campaigns” that take “the mobile role-playing experience to a whole new level.”
SuperData’s September 2017 video gaming market global revenue analysis
should make Bungie happy, whether or not it was bleeding players ahead of the Destiny 2
PC launch, because hey, Bungie got your money already: Destiny 2
rocketed to the top of the console charts, becoming “the fastest selling digital console game in history.” Presumably, we’ll see it crop up under PC in the next few months as yesterday’s launch is taken into account.
The PC side of SuperData’s report won’t surprise you, since it trickled out early yesterday: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pushed up to #4 in global revenue, passing up Crossfire, an Asian online shooter that’s been in the top four for many years. Divinity: Original Sin 2 also entered the list, pushing Dota 2 off and proving, SuperData suggests, that “single-player games still have a draw with consumers.” Pokemon Go, meanwhile, once again dropped out of the mobile top 10.
SuperData announced this morning that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
continues to work its way up the revenue charts, now passing up even Crossfire
. We presume the tweet is a sneak-peek at the company’s September report, as it traditionally releases those a month behind.
The research firm’s August global revenue report put PUBG at #5 in terms of global PC revenue, having passed by the recombinated World of Warcraft (though we again note that games like Overwatch are listed on both the PC and console side, and it’s unclear whether that works against it).
Crossfire, you’ll recall, has been listed among the top four games for at least the last three years (here’s September 2016, 2015, and 2014 for reference – and it spent some of that time at #2), so this is quite a feat. That would put PUBG in fourth place in September, even though it’s still in early access.
In promotional materials associated with its new paid “Esports Scoreboard,” gaming anaylsis firm SuperData – known best to our audience for its monthly revenue charts – has declared that “the esports market has finally hit the mainstream.” Though the associated marketing report is paywalled, some of the public statistics in the reveal are actually of interest.
For example, the company runs down the top 10 e-sports games by viewership, with League of Legends coming in at the top as of August. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which recently blasted past 2M concurrent players and 15M sales, clocked in at #2, but expect that to rise in future editions as the game’s exploded even more since then. The firm argues that PUBG, unlike many of the MOBAs and shooters dominating the rankings, “stands out from competitors because players spend most of their time in stealth mode instead of intense shootuts, giving streamers time to interact with their viewers.”
Blizzard’s had a strong showing, too, with Hearthstone, Overwatch, and StarCraft II all in the top ten; SuperData notes that Overwatch in particular will benefit from the offseason of Dota 2 and LoL.
Last week, we broke the news that Spacetime Studios was working on a new mobile MMO, and as of today’s announcement, it’s been confirmed. That mobile game is called Pocket Legends Adventures, an “homage” to what Spacetime says was the “world’s first 3D mobile MMO” — that’d be the ahead-of-its-time Pocket Legends, of course, which the studio followed up with Star Legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends.
The new game’s not being called an MMO, as Spacetime seems to prefer multiplayer RPG, but it seems as much an MMO as the old game. It’s being described as “an epic, action-packed multiplayer role-playing game for iOS and Android platforms” that boasts “innovative real-time combat, unique skill-based advancement, endless character customization, and extensive single player campaigns” that take “the mobile role-playing experience to a whole new level.” The company’s also noting it “significantly advanced [its] proprietary game engine animation and rendering technologies” to improve the graphics.
“Social gameplay will be front-and-center in Pocket Legends Adventures, with Friends, Chat, and a wide range of exotic and humorous vanity items to apply to the avatars. Gamers can expect the same pick-up-and-play mayhem as the original series with several new multiplayer modes to enjoy with their friends. […] Game mechanics are casual but allow for deep character specialization, so players will be able to experiment with a wide variety of builds to fit their play style without sacrificing their favorite looks. Simple on the surface, with infinite character builds, Pocket Legends Adventures is a full-featured RPG distilled to fit today’s on-the-go lifestyle.”
Is it mobile MMO day or something? We’ll have covered seven different mobile MMOs in one way or another just today, and that’s without counting the Battlenet post and SuperData mobile standings. In fact, make it eight: Spacetime Studios just casually announced another one on Twitter.
Spacetime, you’ll recall, rose to prominence years ago for the Legends series (which coincidentally we were just talking about a few weeks back in Massively Overthinking) – first Pocket Legends, then Star Legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends, mostly well-fleshed-out mobile cross-platform mobile-and-browser MMOs long before the trend caught on.
Now, apparently, the studio is working on another new game. This week, it posted signups for a strict-NDA closed beta testing round of the new title, which is expected to kick off on October 9th. From the signups, it appears the game will use Apple and Google accounts for login, it will be F2P with in-app purchases, and it won’t be crossplatform – it’s mobile only. While Spacetime doesn’t confirm it’s an MMO specifically, it discusses servers, server wipes, and character progress, and it invited its original MMO playerbases to test, suggesting it’s probably along those lines:
SuperData’s August 2017 global revenue report confirms what anybody even casually watching PUBG already knows: The upstart game that’s kicking butt on Steam is the literal definition of industry disruptor.
Over on the PC side, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dislodged World of Warcraft by one place since last month, while DOTA 2 fell down to 10 and ROBLOX fell out of the listing as CS:GO returned. On console, GTAV/GTAO is still on top, though Overwatch got bumped one place thanks to the entry of Yet Another Madden game. And the mobile listing shuffled slightly, with Pokemon Go inching upward once again.
“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to dominate PC game sales, despite still being in Steam Early Access,” says SuperData. “PUBG is the number 1 premium PC game for the 3rd month in a row and has overtaken World of Warcraft on the total PC games list for the first time.” Indeed, the company says PUBG sales accelerated last month, “bringing total life-to-date sales close to 9 million units through August.”
Grand Theft Auto Online doesn’t want to be left out of the ridiculous launch-day extravaganza the end of August is having, which is why Rockstar’s just launched the Smuggler’s Run update.
“With a name that’s a nod to an early classic from the Rockstar Games catalog, Smuggler’s Run opens up the air corridors above Los Santos and Blaine County, providing new business opportunities while introducing a range of planes, choppers and even ultralights as highly viable options for transporting criminal cargo across the state – simultaneously opening up some creative new methods of dispatching any rival gangs along the way. Smuggler’s Run delivers a massive range of new, customizable aircraft perfect for any mission along with expansive new aircraft hangars in which to stash your fleet of fantastic flying machines.”
Expect seven new aircraft from “getaway racers” to zippy badasses that only look like hunks ‘o junk, plus a couple of cars for the landbound gangsters and a new scavenger hunt-themed adversary mode called Motor Wars. There are even new tats. Try not to die!
Remember a few weeks back when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds took League of Legends to town on Twitch, beating Riot’s giant for eyeball share on the platform during the Dota 2 tourney for the first time ever? Twitch is apparently not the only place the game is kicking butt and taking names: It’s now surpassed Dota 2’s concurrency numbers on Steam, putting it at #1 – an unheard of feat for a non-Valve video game.
Bluehole creative director Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene himself tweeted on Saturday when PUBG broke the 800,000 concurrent players threshold, but the game kept climbing, eventually peaking at 878K to Dota 2’s 843K on Sunday.
SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin had been tracking the game’s meteoric rise in preparation for the new record, pointing out that PUBG is actually pulling heavily from CS:GO to get those numbers. “It’s not surprising: if you like CS:GO there is a chance you’ll like PUBG,” SteamSpy opines. “If you DON’T like Payday 2 but like shooters, PUBG is appealing.”
The game has been making SuperData’s top 10 list for revenue for the last several months. Overseas, Tencent attempted to buy out Bluehole Studio but was rebuffed, so it merely purchased a stake in the company, while Black Desert showrunner and Korean conglom Kakao recently inked a deal to publish the game in Korea.