2018 was the year of Fortnite and free-to-play games, according to Superdata research

    
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YOUR MONEY IS NOW OUR MONEY, AND WE WILL USE IT TO BUY DRUGS

“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.

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Bruno Brito

I really don’t think Fortnite speaks for the entire genre, altho some companies are realizing that fair f2p models are pretty popular and can rake the cash, given the chance and it’s a bit about timing too.

Altho i do feel this is a temporary shift, and not the endgoal. The endgoal is a way more predatory mobile market.

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PanagiotisLial1

Actually I think the mmo industry mostly hopes to switch to mobile, cause its less cost for more income. They dont need a big dev team to make a mobile game, nor that much of expensive high quality artwork so they think they found a golden goose

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Bruno Brito

I don’t see the industry leaving PC tho. I do have hope that the number of “smaller” mmos will increase, and the bigger companies will switch to a primary mobile focus.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes I think the big companies mainly are trying a slow but mass exodus since they are these that also dont want much risk. Some people say “the higher you are the harder you fall” which is true for giants since if they dont have a cashflow and the expenses pile up they can fall fast

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rafael12104

Fortnite is a phenomenon. Truly. People who know nothing about video games know about Fortnite. Unfortunately, these same folks draw some awful conclusions about vid games in general. Heh. A topic for another article.

So, like it or not, it will continue to be much bigger than even we gamers will allow. And yet, because it is so fundamentally narrow in its mechanics and scope, the games shelf life is starting to show.

It will be remembered like the hula hoop. But it still has some life.

BTW Armsbend is spot on on the money that game makes. It is hard to understand, really. There are several millionaire gamer/streamers because they play Fortnite. I’m not talking about Esports competitions or pros playing for money. I’m talking about streamers who just happened to start playing the game early. They play the game, that’s all. And they are now millionaires. Think about that!

A freaking first world problem. Heh.

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Sorenthaz

2019 is probably going to be the dropoff. The Fortnite fatigue was already starting to show by the end of 2018, and it looks like it’s continuing to go down that path. BRs just don’t seem to have the longevity other games can have, and Epic keeps trying to throw new things into it to entice people and it often comes at the expense of annoying the ‘competitive’/’pro’ players trying to make money off of the competitive events that Epic has committed $100 million to in prize money (scattered over the events ofc).

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Armsbend

They are making so much money from streaming the game right now – who really cares about their opinions of development? I wouldn’t. Sit back and enjoy the ride I’d say.

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rafael12104

I think they are doing that, but at the same time, they are adding to the game to try and keep it from getting stale. I give them credit for that.

But there is no getting around it. Despite the addition of golf carts, airplanes, etc. it is getting old because the gameplay doesn’t fundamentally vary.