SuperData is a company that provides “relevant market data and insight on digital games and playable media.” For 2018, it compiled some key games industry statistics into a “Year in Review” segment.
Starting off, the report lets on that Fortnite “generated the most annual revenue of any game in history.” As a multiplatform release, the game made $2.4 billion. The second place free-to-play game, Dungeon Fighter Online by Nexon, made almost a billion less. Love it or hate it, Epic’s massive hit made gaming video content (streaming on platforms like Twitch) popular in the mainstream. Overall, the industry saw an increase of 13% in 2018. These higher numbers are thanks to Fortnite and the battle royale genre in general.
On that same trend, free-to-play games made up 80% of digital games revenue last year. Asian mobile games were a big part of this, hitting around 62% of global free-to-play profits. However, buy-to-play games were still big in North America and Europe, with these two regions bringing in about 80% of revenue. Red Dead Redemption 2 was a part of this, with Rockstar’s latest bringing in $516 million in quarter 4 alone. That profit increased revenue from premium games around 10% from last year. Interestingly, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Monster Hunter: World were the only top 10 premium games that were not part of an annual franchise.
Gaming video content made $5.2 billion in revenue, with all content hitting 850 million unique viewers. YouTube earned around $183 million, with Twitch bringing in a ridiculous $594 million. SuperData credits Ninja as a large part of this. The Fortnite streamer totaled 218 million hours watched last year.
“2018 was the biggest year for digital games and interactive entertainment. Ever,” reads the SuperData summary. According to the report, 2019 looks to be even bigger. Cloud gaming, Steam competitors, and multi-platform support are critical growth points. Storefronts such as Epic’s and Discord’s are providing developers with more significant pay cuts than Steam ever did. Internet speeds are improving as well, meaning more players will jump into cloud gaming. As a result, gamers will no longer be limited by expensive hardware. All of these improvements directly lead to multi-platform gaming, which we saw some push for last year in the Fortnite and Rocket League communities.
Those interested in the full report can download it for free here.