SuperData September 2019: WoW Classic’s surge is over, Fortnite sees worst month since 2017

    
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Blaaaah

SuperData’s September 2019 global revenue report on the video game industry is out today, and unlike reports a lot of months, this one’s got a couple of shake-ups.

First, MMO fans are going to notice that World of Warcraft (West) has dropped from third to sixth on the PC revenue charts. No, this has nothing to do with the ongoing Blizzard boycott; we’re unlikely to see any effects from that until at least SuperData’s December report. Instead, we’re simply seeing WoW return to roughly where it was before August’s huge WoW Classic spike, though it was maybe a bit faster than some people expected it to drop.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Fortnite has also dropped several places on PC, and Borderlands 3 pushed League of Legends down a peg too. Fortnite likewise dropped from first to seventh place on the console charts, while the popular-in-China Fate/Grand Order bumped Pokemon Go from king of mobile.

Fortnite hits lowest point since launch just before Fortnite Chapter 2,” SuperData says. “We estimate Fortnite revenue across all platforms declined 43% month-over-month in September, marking the worst performing month of revenue since November 2017.” Part of that is that people just didn’t spend as much in games in September as usual.

“Worldwide digital spending declines 1% to $8.9 billion in September. Total spend on console and PC declined 17% and 3% year-over-year respectively, despite a slew of new launches. This more than offset a 6% increase on mobile, which increased its share of the total market to 59% this month.”

Here’s all of SuperData’s 2019 reports so far:

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rafael12104

Hmm. My take on this data is that it is disgusting to see NBA2K and FIFA one and two on the console charts.

Heh. Those of you following the loot-box wars know exactly what I’m talking about. FIFA’s surprise mechanic is still justifying EA’s asinine behavior and NBA2K20’s success encourages 2k to continue with their slot machines in bug ridden games.

As for Classic? Yeah, I think most of us expected it to drop off. But for a game that is basically just a greatest hit album and didn’t require any innovation or creativity when compared to a new IP, it is a huge success for Blizz. And as it evolves and updates and xpacs are dropped, fans will come and go.

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Denice J. Cook

Oh good! So I can sub up for WoW Classic again. Moving servers 4 times only to face hours of queues week after week anyway, or alternatively transferring to a dead server and being stuck there, was getting old. Hopefully the queues of the full servers have dropped down a bit.

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Marty Woods

Bit difficult to find the best high population servers now they have changed the descriptions to them .

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MrNude

I believe they removed layers on some servers, I know Mankrik had a queue last night around 9pm EST. Pretty sure they are posturing for P2.

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Laguna

So what about Final Fantasy XIV? They just launched their latest major MMO expansion globally recently and its breaking record subscriber numbers and critic scores. That surely dealt a blow to WoW since its the only other Themepark MMO viably competing against it in the subscription market.

loler91
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loler91

1 mio subs are not record breaking numbers. FFXIV is a niche mmo

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Lily Cheng

FFXIV is a niche mmo

hahahahahahahaHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA….*breathe*…HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

Recently? A few months ago! It’s quite enough for people to clear it. Most of them are waiting for 5.1

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Mykal Quinn

SuperData only covers games that willingly give their statistics to them. Square Enix may not have given them any statistics, so it wouldn’t be on the list.

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Armsbend

Sales down 18% YoY. With the quality of gaming in steep decline, coupled with multiple headwinds – the sector is going to start taking massive hits. Just getting started.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Yeah. They just need Jeremy Irons to say, “This is it!”

The music seems to have stopped. It just surprises me that momentum could have kept it going for so long.

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Armsbend

They have the luxury of addiction and celebrity endorsements on their side. Crack addiction is a big joke today but there are still people foaming at the mouth in the slums hooked on it.

But when you base your fortunes on the fickleness of children – and then you treat those children like trash – it will come home to roost.

If Hasbro or Mattel shit in the faces of their audience as much as EA/Blizzard/Valve did they would have been out of business decades ago.

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Schmidt.Capela

Hasbro actually learned how to (usually) tolerate fanart of their trademarked characters in order to avoid driving away their fans/customers. Which, for a toy company that has fighting against knockoffs and copycats in its DNA, is a big deal.

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Armsbend

I saw an interesting tidbit on Mattel the other day. Their target audience puts down toys an average of 2-3 years before they did a decade ago – due to competition from games and phones. So the toy companies have to get in an out early. They really don’t have much wiggle room to test the patience of any customer.

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Danny Smith

I don’t think the WoW thing should be surprising. Ever since the last blizzcon i said ‘it will get a massive userbase for the first month then drop to a very small but dedicated niche’ and i’m not exactly screaming i told you so since that seems as obvious as predicting its going to rain in england.

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gelfred

Hasn’t rained for at least half a day, not sure I have seen the sky through the cloud though.
Still surprised its at number 6 really, even with the seeming overwhelming dislike of BfA it is still up there.

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Sorenthaz

Well BfA finally finished its forced faction war nonsense and Vulpera were added in as an allied race, so folks are probably warming up to it again.

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Alberto

Once all the Nostalgia goggles wear off Yeah this is what going to happen, remember that One dev who got Sh#T for saying ” You think you want it but you don’t?”…he was right..it was fun for about a month..I am already bored after making a bunch of alts grinding to about 40 then leaving the game, was fun for about 30 days..

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styopa

Sounds like you weren’t really one of the ones who “thought they wanted it” in the first place?

If we’re comparing anecdotes, my wife, both my sons, and I are all loving classic after having abandoned wow in TBC, WotLK/Cata, and Cata respectively. We each have 4 different leveling toons depending on who we’re playing together with, all variously around lvl 30, and absolutely having a blast.

I mean sure, the surge wasn’t going to persist, obviously. People were going to get frustrated by the full server/transfers, they were going to just be tourists anyway, or they’d just get bored with the slower pace of life in Classic. No surprises there, but the servers still seem quite full now 2 months down the line – still queues on some during weekends, and last time I bothered to look, easily 1/3 were still running layers.

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Sorenthaz

Idk. I think that the nostalgia goggles can last for awhile depending on how folks approach it. If you do like I’ve seen some folks do where they’re like… super tryharding it and have been nolifing private servers in prep for this stuff, yeah, burnout is going to happen sooner or later. I’ve heard endgame can be a struggle right now depending on your class as well because too many people have become metaslaves or think that optimal group formations are the only way to go. Too many folks are wannabe elitists because they want to be prepped for later content, and then they whine/complain that the content isn’t coming fast enough for them.

I think what I’m going to do if I get back into it is just not worry about my PvP server character(s) and play casually on a PvE or RP server. WoW always is most enjoyable to me when I feel like it’s not a job or like I’m pressured to keep up a pace.

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Jeremy Barnes

You should go read the posts from news stories about it. I was repeatedly told that Classic was going to retain a large active playerbase (some were saying it would challenge retail, lol). Classic is exactly what everyone wanted from an MMO! It was the greatest MMORPG ever created and was “perfect”.

I was a “hater” for saying that once the 1 month of subs ran out that the playerbase would be relatively tiny.

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Scott McCulloch

You were wrong.

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Jeremy Barnes

Reality disagrees with you, but if you have numbers that refute the ones superdata has…by all means, share them.

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Scott McCulloch

SuperData is reporting the overall revenue, of which WoW and WoW Classic are both components. We don’t know what each is contributing to the total.

One only needs to look at the server list of Classic to see that it is not a trivial number of people still playing. They still haven’t been able to get rid of layering..

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Utakata

You haven’t answered your claim with the numbers and/or evidence requested. But only with an assumption at best without any citation. I am gonna reasonably conclude you actually don’t know that. o.O

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Marty Woods

Eventually maybe but there is no sign of that happening yet . There are still loads of layered severs so plenty still playing it . Some servers even still have ques at peak times .

I think the “very small dedicated niche”your predicting is probably still 4-5 years away and even then it might not be that small .

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Utakata

I suspect it will be much earlier than that with an expansion and other games coming over the horizon. Furthermore, Blizz took an image hit with blitzchung’gate…that may add to the decline quicker too. But I agree for now, I am not seeing the servers with “very small but dedicated niche” just yet. And that’s almost made it sound WoWC was going WildStar up. >.<

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Scott McCulloch

I’m in a 90-minute queue on WoW Classic on a Tuesday night. Very small niche.. uh huh.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Two things come to mind.

First, the slowing economy worldwide is having an impact. The US economy has been slowing for months and there are rumblings that the slowdown is worldwide.

Second, the insulated news of the game world has been breaking out into the mainstream and I obviously mean this even before the Blizz mess, but with lootbox hearings, rulings and opinion pieces. Publishers and therefore games have been getting a lot of bad press. That may be impacting decision making on some level.

In conclusion:

I have an extremely large bush that grows outside my bay window to the second floor. It gets little hard berries but no flowers. Hummingbirds constantly come to check out what’s there. Sadly there is nothing for them. Happily, they like that bush and many times during the day will come to rest on one of the branches just outside my window where I can see them from my computer. What’s more, there’s a tall telephone pole across the street. There’s nothing on the tippitop. During mating season, crows will land there and take up their cawing. When the local rookery crows fledge, they’ll also come here, making a mad racket and lining the wires with their antics.

Life in the city.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

Beautiful image. Thank you.

There was a peach tree outside my window, planted by my grandmother. The martins guarded over it from the birdhouse my father built. That was their tree, and woe to any grackel, bluejay or cardinal who interloped. The martins were belligerent little gatekeepers, and annoying, but they did spare the fruit — at least until a pack of feral hogs tore through the fence and uprooted the whole damned tree.

Life in the sticks.

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3dom

It’s strange Red Dead Online isn’t in the rating considering it’s a better tween of GTA.

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Emiliano Lozada

GTAO didn’t kick off as it has been until post-PC. I’d argue the same will happen when RDR2 hits PC.

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TomTurtle

Not that battle royale games are close to being dead or anything, but I’m curious to see what the next big game type will be. Whether it’ll be an offshoot BR design or something else entirely. I won’t lie. It’d be nice to see MMOs make a big return some day. :(

The WoW numbers dropoff, and assumedly Classic, is not a big surprise. We’ll still see some jumps coinciding with content rollouts but no where near as big. At least maybe not until subsequent “Classic” expansion versions are released with Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, if they ever push things that far.

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IronSalamander8 .

I’m curious to see how Fortnite does with this new launch whatever thing it’s doing right now. Still not playing it but also am still curious about how this will affect it.

I’m not playing WoW classic but I’m in our guild’s discord and I can literally see the interest fall off before my eyes. We have 40 people in the discord and while 1 person was booted for bad behavior and 2 of us don’t play, they had a total of 8 people online Sunday for the typical guild event night when it was closer to launch it had at least 20 and the week nights which have lower attendance are even emptier, sometimes only 2 or 3 people max all night lately.