If you want SuperData’s complete 2017 Digital Games & Interactive Media market brief, you’re… not going to have to pay for it. It’s free, or at least the “executive summary” is, assuming you’re willing to put in an address to get it. Here are some of the more interesting highlights from the doc.
- MMORPG players, take note: Guild Wars 2 is included on the top 10 premium PC games by revenue for 2017. It’s at #8 with $87M.
- There are a few MMOs on the top free-to-play games by revenue for 2017 list too, including Blade & Soul, MapleStory, and Roblox. (We’re not quite sure why World of Warcraft isn’t on either list.)
- PUBG owned 2017 with $712M in revenue in less than a year – yes, more than Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Grand Theft Auto combined in 2017.
- A third of the world plays free-to-play games. That’s 89% of the revenue of the mobile and PC markets.
- Mobile isn’t dead; we spent $14 billion more dollars on mobile than PC last year than in 2016. Notably, a huge chunk of that money is funneled to just a handful of games – most of them in the east.
- E-sports is only getting bigger, with $756M in 2017 revenue.
You can take a peek yourself on SuperData’s site.
SuperData’s December 2017 global revenue chart is out, and it’s good news for the industry on the whole, as holiday spending was up by almost a fifth over 2016.
On the PC side, we’re seeing quite a shakeup over the last couple of months. Dungeon Fighter Online has surged back into the #2 spot behind League of Legends after tumbling last fall thanks to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which itself has fallen several slots on the PC side (though faring better on console). Fortnite is now on the top 10 list right behind PUBG; World of Warcraft and Roblox are hanging in there; and Overwatch has even returned to the PC list at #10.
What’s not on the PC list at all? Destiny 2. It’s in the middle of the pack on the console top list right now, but it’s been overshadowed on PC. Why? “Destiny 2’s new DLC release, Curse of Osiris, failed to make a significant impact on the game,” SuperData declares. “[Monthly active users] and digital revenue were generally flat month-over-month.”
There aren’t many online games that can honestly say they’re still growing and setting records years and years after their launch, but that’s exactly what Grand Theft Auto Online – which launched way back in 2013 – is doing.
Earlier this week, Rockstar announced the good news in a blog post, stating that “2017 was the biggest year of GTA Online yet, capped off by an epic December that saw more players in the game than ever before.”
The news won’t surprise anybody who’s been watching Superdata’s monthly reports, as the game’s been sitting toward the top of the console charts for a long time, peaking at #1 for several months in the summer of 2017.
Rockstar’s blog post further notes the introduction of the Lampadati Viseris as well as sales and bonus events running through this weekend.
Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, maybe possibly giving you something fun to do on your phones while you’re stuck at various holiday events this season!
Players are either happy or grumpy with Pokemon Go, as apparently the game is scheduling random raids (which are hard enough to come by generally) for Christmas day. Because it needs to be said again: This is literally the worst raiding system in any MMO ever and I can’t believe there isn’t more rage.
Like A Boss isn’t an MMORPG, but like Little Healer, it does mock MMORPGs with a Dungeon Keeper twist, and it’s available on mobile now. “Now it’s time to become the Boss in the role-playing fantasy world you know from MMOs, but this time it’s your territory that is being invaded, your riches, and your minions that are being ransacked!”
Don’t agree that lockboxes, lootboxes, and gambleboxes were the biggest story of the year? We’ve collected so many news tidbits just on that over the last few days that we’re resorting to rounding them up rather than spamming. To wit:
First, Merrill Lynch analysts have now lowered their expectations and profit estimates for EA thanks to the performance of Star Wars Battlefront 2, which the analysts believe will fall short of the 14M sales estimate by 2.5M. At least in big box stores, the game also performed relatively poorly on Black Friday.
On point: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gambling is under $1 on Steam. “Do you love opening loot crates, but hate the tedious gameplay sessions in between? Our marketing department has the game for you! Unbox random items! Get stuff, but not what you really want! Skate legal and ethical lines! Remember kids, it’s only a video game, so grab your parents’ credit card!”
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.