“2018 was the biggest year for digital games and interactive entertainment. Ever.” So sayeth gaming-trend research company Superdata, which recently published its year-in-review data for 2018. There’s a lot of information for the statistics nerds out there to sift through, but here are the major takeaways: According to the company’s research, “the games and interactive media industry grew 13% in 2018,” thanks in no small part to Epic’s golden goose Fortnite, which “generated the most annual revenue of any game in history.”
Fortnite’s success was also part of the larger trend of the industry’s continued shift toward free-to-play titles, which “amassed 80% of digital games revenue in 2018,” though Superdata notes that “premium games still performed well in Western markets.” Perhaps not surprisingly, “Asian mobile games helped the region earn 62% of global free-to-play revenue, while North America and Europe generated 80% of premium games revenue.”
And outside of the game-development industry itself, gaming video content such as livestreams and YouTube videos “earned $5.2B as viewership hit 850M unique viewers.” Superdata attributes this spike in interest to the prominence of players like Fortnite poster boy Ninja, who has broken out of the niche gaming community into mainstream popularity.
On that note, Superdata has also released a list of the top ten most-watched games on Twitch and YouTube in December 2018. Based on the above information, you probably won’t be shocked to learn that Fortnite led the charge, taking the number one spot on both Twitch and YouTube, with the likes of PUBG, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Hearthstone filling out the ranks. If you want to dig deeper into 2018’s gaming-industry trends for yourself, you can find all the charts and statistics over at Superdata’s site.