SuperData: Fortnite’s success hit League of Legends and PUBG hard, but not all online games are struggling

    
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There’s a new thinkpiece out on how Fortnite happened and what it all means every week lately, but SuperData’s latest might be a comfort to the rest of the industry. Analyst Bethany Lyons argues that Fortnite’s wild success isn’t coming at the expense of all other games.

Fortnite Battle Royale has grown without disrupting the bottom line or player base of a surprising number of free-to-play games. For example, the title has increased its console revenue in May at a rate of 12% month-over-month, while other free-to-play console games stayed more or less consistent,” she writes.

So that’s revenue. What about users? Other games are still growing, some even faster than Fortnite, she says, particularly in the free-to-play console market, which is encouraging competitors to focus there. And streaming? Seems hours-watched on Twitch for the big games have stayed fairly even too as Fortnite has taken off.

On the other land, Lyons admits, League of Legends has been hit hard, while curiously games like Dota 2 have not: “The player base of League of Legends is taking a big hit. The game has been bleeding users since November of last year, just two months after Fortnite Battle Royale was released.” PUBG is definitely suffering too, having lost 5M players since February and watching its revenue fall from $91M to $33 over the course of the past spring.

The takeaway? Fortnite isn’t a rising tide lifting all boats, but it sure is lifting some of them.

Source: SuperData
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Robert Mann

So… those who like quick PvP matches moved to their new game, and others pretty much ignored it? You don’t say! *Also applies to an extent with the mobile thing that Tencent did.*

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Schmidt.Capela

Only those that were playing PUBG and LoL moved, though, while players in other similar games, like DOTA2 and H1Z1, remained there.

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rafael12104

I will also add this about League vs. Fornite. League has lost and continues to lose what I call the “Twitch effect”.

For years, League was almost untouchable when it came to Twitch streams and views. Oh, other games would come and go, but none ever threatened Leagues popularity on Twitch specifically.

In walks Epic with Fortnite. Aside from the simple fun that experts and noobs alike can have playing Fortnite, Epic lined up a few Twitch Streamers aka influencers. And then… Jackpot!

A streamer named Ninja scored a little Fornite play with and against Drake, and that generated over a million followers and countless more views on both Twitch and Youtube respectively. Ninja became a millionaire overnight (literally), and that single event changed the landscape. Epic didn’t have to incentivize streamers to stream the game anymore. And LoL streamers cashed in when they finally realized, they don’t have to play LoL to keep their audience. Fortnite was fun enough and popular enough to follow.

And the rest is history, really. Twitch and Youtube were and are a huge contributor to Fortnites success. The model isn’t new, but the sudden change in viewership is, and you can bet devs now formulate their plans with Twitch and Youtube in mind.

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Sorenthaz

Tbh LoL was already getting usurped to a degree with PUBG regularly competing for #1 until Fortnite knocked it out of the park.

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rafael12104

Also true.

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Sally Bowls

Sigh.

Isn’t it far more reasonable to assume the hit to LoL is because LOL’s parent company created a complete clone of LoL on mobile and turned it into the largest game on the planet? (200,000,000 MAUs iirc)

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4102304-tencents-honor-kings-will-cannibalize-international-sales-league-legends

https://www.techinasia.com/chinas-top-mobile-game-complete-league-legends-ripoff

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Sorenthaz

League of Legends started bleeding players because of the significant changes they made in the preseason which happened of course around November last year. Simply put, folks are getting tired of Riot constantly changing/breaking the game and putting it in a regular state of imbalance. Long-time streamers have been getting burnt out and have looked to Fortnite for their new main game. Also, I’m guessing LoL is no longer the game that appeals to teens, as Fortnite took its place.

So LoL is in that point of decline where it’s not able to bring in enough new players while older players leave. Ofc this seems to mostly just be a Western thing though, as in China and such they’re still seeing huge numbers from the sounds of it, and Riot has been scheduling its international events to be more and more favored to Asia timezones at the expense of Western viewership.

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Keida Sotiri

This was the season I more or less stopped playing too, even let my rank decay down to G1-75lp and I don’t even play Fortnite. The last 2 seasons there’s simply been a lot of complaints over balance and champion design to the point during a period one of the balance team members faced threats.

League simply doesn’t feel like it’s League anymore. I’ve played since before ranked was added to the game, and over the years I saw them go from wanting the game to be about strategy to just everything being about killing things quickly and going back on what they said they wouldn’t do. The game’s at a point where items now have very large impact on the game, and there’s a support assassin in the game that’s loaded with CC and excessive move speed later on. This is just how desperate they’ve become in an attempt to continue to keep the game “fresh” and “exciting”.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Looks like there was a slight dip in April for Fortnite, what was going on during April?

It’s obvious why PUBG is getting hurt by Fortnite being in the same genre, but it’s also interesting how LoL is suffering as well.

LoL has consistently grown every year until 2016 which had 100 million MAU. But in 2017 (when PUBG/Fortnite was released) LoL actually decreased to 81 million MAU. By the end of 2018, I wonder if LoL will decrease even further, 60 million MAU perhaps?

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Sally Bowls

NewZoo’s latest is “June Insights from Newzoo’s PC Game Tracker: Realm Royale Enters the Top 20 After June 5 Release” which highlights the new entrant – not the older, declining Fortnite.

Newzoo_Top_Core_PC_Games_June (2)_LI.jpg