SuperData January 2019: Digital gaming revenue is down across the board as Fortnite has ‘increasingly lumpy revenue profile’

    
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Hey so can we just get a do-over on January and maybe February? No? Sigh. SuperData’s released its January 2019 report, and surprising no one, digital games revenue is once again down on PC, console, and mobile. The analysis firm blames the console decline specifically on “tepid performance from top Premium Console franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, FIFA and Overwatch.”

World of Warcraft – at least the western tally – is still holding in at #7 on the PC revenue chart. But League of Legends has once against lost the top slot to Dungeon Fighter Online, Hearthstone has slipped off the list, and Fortnite dropped a few pegs. On console, FIFA 19 bested Fortnite too, Red Dead Redemption 2 is trending down (SuperData says it failed to “pick up momentum,”), and Overwatch is still nowhere to be found.

Fortnite dips month-over-month after a strong end to the year. Fortnite revenue on all platforms combined declined 48% month-over-month in January, although sales are still up significantly year-over-year,” write the firm. “This comes after a peak month in December and points to an increasingly lumpy revenue profile heading into 2019.”

Lumpy indeed.

Source: SuperData
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Vincent Clark

World of Warcraft “West”? What is the purpose of that add-on?

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rosieposie

Almost feels like a growing wide rejection to all the pap that the 3A industry has been spewing out as of late…

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Dota 2 bumped off Hearthstone? Huh.

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PanagiotisLial1

I used to be surprised for the high spot on DFO, but not anymore. Its probably the best “coffee break” mmo game out there

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3dom

Half of the list on PC are 5-15 years old games, including WoW with its graphics engine and character models from 20+ years old Warcraft 2. Apparently consumers aren’t that demanding as some devs may think.

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rafael12104

Heh. And those numbers are lagging indicators so Apex isn’t included. Heh. Anyone care to guess what they will be like in the next report?

Tsk. tsk. Hard times for Epic. They will only make a few hundred million.

Digital sales are down. And the analysts blame poor sales of a few notable games. *sight* NOPE! That’s not it. Those are symptoms of a longstanding problem that has yet to be addressed.

The problem? You can’t continue to squeeze money out of any game that is not innovative in its iterations. Skins are not enough. Maps are not enough.

The other problem is the market is changing. Entertainment choices are plenty. If the video game makers don’t focus on new engaging and interactive experiences and keep pushing the shallow, the quick, and the monetized then customers will move on to other things.

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Bruno Brito

It’s also funny how that comes with a “cry for the old”. Most players are firing up pservers of their old passions. Games that had something “unique” in this ocean of mediocrity.

I’m not really that into hyperbole, but when i think about pservers getting 3k players, 1,5k players, 10k players, with a basement pc, if that was something from an known company, how much would it be?

That’s what you get for getting those suits involved on this crap. Of course it would get stale.

xpsync
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xpsync

Gee i just don’t know rob, we keep copying and reskinning all the games, not sure what the problem is, they buy the same crap year after year after year, what do we do now? Loot box? oh wait BR! oh wait, yea i’ve no clue?

WOW, like we didn’t see this coming; over a decade ago ffs.

Maybe it’s time to start making real mmorpg’s again? and no, not another fucking quest hub thempark ffs, let your developer’s do something they haven’t done for well over a decade, Develop!

OMFG! I got it!!! Change all the game titles to bright yellow. Ah you da man rob totally saved the company.

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Fenrir Wolf

Yep. It’s the required safeness quotient at play. I’ve spoken about it before.

Exponentially increasing fidelity and focus on player retention means exponentially increasing development costs which means raising game prices and trying to cast the net as wide as possible to make as many sales as possible.

Back in my day, we had a game that lasted a set amount of time, with aesthetics rather than fidelity, and designed with a reasonable scope in mind, and we bloody well loved it!

I don’t know if I quite have a creaky enough voice yet to pull that off successfully, but I’m getting there. Not that I mind, being old is rad. I now understand so many things.

We’re headed for a second video games crash, I’ve been calling it for years (longer than on just this site), and that looks like it’s absolutely the case. Strap yourselves in, we’re gunna craaaaaaaash!

I imagine that indies will be largely unaffected. I just hope that the new games industry is more akin to how it was in the early ’00s, taking into account the many QoL design lessons learned since then.

I mean, of course sales are going down. Everyone gets tired of buying such exceedingly safe games eventually, the homogeneity will get to even the most boring, flavourless person.

It was honestly just a matter of time. The industry hasn’t been properly sustainable for a little while, now. Which is why it’s all become so shady and cut-throat with so much focus around short-term successes.

It’s like every AAA developer these days is Team Bondi, except creating nothing nearly as interesting as L.A. Noire.

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Skoryy

Ahh, that good ol’ Seventh Day Consumerism. The game market’s gonna crash any day now. Aaaaany day now.

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Akagi

That’s what I’ve been saying – they just reiterate the same old concepts all across the board. In every genre. I usually play RPGs, MMORPGs, FPSes and racing games (think Need for Speed Underground 1, Most Wanted, Carbon, Porsche) and I’m yet to see any innovation from AAA games – they just copy each other/or themselves and slightly buff the graphics and sell the same old games.

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PanagiotisLial1

I loved Need Speed Porsche, was my favorite

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Akagi

The NFS games were actually good from the first one all the way up to Carbon, after that they became bad. Many people say that NFS Underground 2 was the best, but I think Underground 1 was the better of the two. UG2 with its open world was just a mess.

Porsche was good, I remember playing it in around 2000 when I was about 8-9 years old and I remember how realistic the controls were.

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PanagiotisLial1

Porsche was the only one I played the career mode over and over and over. It was also a Need for Speed I liked playing exclusively from interior camera with steering wheel visible

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Armsbend

I used to love Burnout games so much. Paradise being the last really good one. then EA went all EA on them as they do.

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Bruno Brito

Still love me some old games. I watch some deity plays for Civ and i kinda miss my GTA Vice City/Max Payne/NFSU2 and Simcity/The Sims times.

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Danny Smith

Not that surprised about Overwatch. Another sacrifice for Blizzards unquenchable thirst for esports that constantly ends in mediocre results at best.

Remember when it was treated like the mario party of shooters for casuals and it was the mainstream darling because it was just mindless fun and everyones twitter feed was buried in fanart and everyone was gushing about how fun it was?

I ‘member.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

i hope you apply for the position here danny.

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IronSalamander8 .

Yep. I haven’t played in some time. I really liked it at first but I’d rather play Paladins, with all its bugs, or the garden warfare games than OW now.

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Fenrir Wolf

Precisely, rule of fun above all else! What is a video game if it’s not fun? Is having fun not what video games are for???

My best pkunk impersonation aside? That’s exactly what happened to Battleborn, too. The colourful, unique cast of characters and original narrative attracted creatives and casuals, not the audience of hard-nosed, gruff eSportsers that they desired.

I mean, we all know that the only good eSports is one-on-one fighters, anyway, right?

SonicFox is my hero. /swoon

Segue time!

I remember being grumpy at the first mission of Battleborn for being too clever. First of all, I didn’t disagree with ISIC! If indeed the Universe is a simulation, then freeing everyone so that we can give the monsters running it a right good lamping for causing so many to suffer is a noble goal!

Their Universe is DYING. There’s, what, a handful of inhabitable planets left? Their doom is guaranteed! Nope, let’s ignore the AI ‘cuz we dun’ like his free-thinkin’ sort ’round these parts.

xz;jvbiwahbsdiJGOIAHGAOJ

And then, of course, the very first time I played that mission, at the part where they guess your name? They of course, naturally had to guess my name correctly, because of course they did. Which made the entire experience even more dissonant and bizarre.

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drelkag

Surprised to see Sims 4. I remember reading years ago how it could bring The Sims series down with it.

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Nathan Aldana

Its almost like every game pundit that warned that infinite growth is as impossible in gaming as it is in any other business sector werent crazy.

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Danny Smith

b-but year over year growth without end tho

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Nathan Aldana

Its like the fatal flaw in capitalism. people /always/ get it in their head this is the big one. the big boom that will never end and shower them with infinite wealth.

And theres no downside to them believing it because when the inevitable crash and tightening of the market comes, only the people at the bottom get hurt.

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Danny Smith

My Grandad ran the most succesful auto business in the region for decades and he always said “if you never have to worry about rent or clothes on the kids back and the income doesnt drop you are doing fine” while all his competition kept buying larger recovery machines to try and beat him at his own game and ended up going under. My grandad aint around anymore but that business is still going strong 60 years later and thats on a plaque above the office door. It aint about all the money, its about making enough. Thats the thing these companies just dont understand anymore.

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Fenrir Wolf

@Nathan Aldana

“[…] when the inevitable crash and tightening of the market comes, only the people at the bottom get hurt.”

Yeah, I suppose that’s true. :I

The upside of it though is that people will afterwards have stable jobs working on titles with more reasonable scales, unlike today where jobs are so unstable that people are actively trying to avoid working in the industry unless they feel they have some semblance of job security.

After a crash, things reset and become more manageable. So that’s the upside. But why can’t we have that without losing so many jobs?

Managers, being sensible rather than greedy sociopaths? Self, what are you thinking????

I hate that I have cynicism that verges on misanthropy at times that’s often proved to be too correct by the way the world works.

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Armsbend

It’s almost as if customers don’t like being constantly nickeled and dimed on less and less fun titles year after year.

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Fenrir Wolf

@Armsbend

It just took consumers a long time to realise that fun is more important than fidelity. For the longest time, that wasn’t the case.

A good narrative, enjoyable gameplay, and nice aesthetics will always do more good than even the finest fidelity. Just try to convince someone from even just three years ago of that, though.

This is why the term “graphics whores” exists.

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Armsbend

They woke up to this fact, in my opinion, when graphics stopped making leaps and bounds due to technology constraints. When things became the same year after year the glaring holes started to show – and with it the longing for yesteryear.

Ultimately you are dead on I believe.

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Fenrir Wolf

Yaaaaay~. I mean, I know you probably didn’t have me even remotely in mind when you said that but I’ve been saying this for years.

The cost has gotten so great that there’s just no way that profit can continue to overtake it. And hey, the next generation of consoles is juuuust around the corner.

We need to accept that it’s okay to go backwards with fidelity, rather than forwards. If we had more developers making games with the fidelity and asset scope of, say, titles from ’03? We’d be in a good place. They could have smaller development teams and make more money by diversifying their offerings and targeting under-served niches with games of appropriate scope.

One under-served niche today is kids. I mean, they had it so good right up until sometime around the release of the PS3 and 360; that’s the point where development costs started getting so out of hand that adults had to be targeted instead.

I feel really awful for younglings today because they’ve so little. We had Mario, Sonic, Spyro, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and so many other really cool and relatable characters. What do they have? Only Nintendo cares about them any more.

I feel that the second video games crash can only lead to good things. It can’t happen soon enough.