SuperData Region Revenue

Online gaming is a big deal. You already knew that, of course, but SuperData is trying to quantify just how big of a deal it is. The answer: really big.

OK, how about some precise numbers? According to the brief accompanying its 2016 MMO & MOBA Games Market Report, which estimates that MMOs — which, in SuperData’s parlance, includes shooters and MOBAs (but apparently not Guild Wars 2) — will earn $19.8 billion worldwide this year, or 60% of all digital game revenue on the PC.

And most of that money goes to free-to-play games. According to the map in the article, $17.1 billion of that $19.8 billion comes from free-to-play games — which actually might be a bit low for our purposes, seeing as how SuperData doesn’t count games with optional subscriptions, like Star Wars: The Old Republic, as free-to-play. It’s also interesting to note how the ratio of paid-to-free revenue varies per region. A quick set of calculations reveals:

Free-to-play revenue/Total revenue:
Worldwide: $17.1b/$19.8b, 86%
North America: $1.9b/$2.48b, 77%
Europe: $2.9b/$3.55b, 82%
Asia: $11.2b/$12.6b, 89%
Latin America: $0.913b/$1.01b, 90%

Perhaps it’s not surprising that in affluent North America, where people are more likely to be willing to pay for a box-and-sub game, free-to-play is at its (relative) weakest.

The brief also presents a small chart detailing the number of MMOs players play simultaneously — by which I assume it means “play sessions of interchangeably” as opposed to some convoluted multiboxing. Only 30% of players report as playing just one MMO, with 7% getting into seven or more such games. Count me among the 7%, then.

The report cautions against making generalizations, however, across such a wide data set:

Traditionally online multi-player games have attracted a hardcore audience, but today user sentiments and habits are far from homogenous. Players buy very different types of in-game items depending on if they are new to an MMO or if they have been playing a title for years.

It’s a lot of food for thought. So, what do you think?

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. Most of that money goes to free-to-play games. Anyone notice the joke? Free to play is not free to play anymore. Greedy publishers ruined free to play.


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