SuperData Research unleashed its 2018 Year In Review earlier this week, offering a wide-ranging look at the gaming industry’s facts and figures over the previous year. While we had some rather harsh words to say about last year’s report, the current version looks to be a bit more on target — but also less informative in a broad sense.
Last year, most segments were broken down by PC, console, and mobile. On that front, Superdata said 2017’s PC F2P revenue in Asia, North America, and Europe totaled $15 billion. In 2018, the worldwide PC F2P market is $17.0 billion, with console F2P kicking in an extra $2.0 billion — largely due to Fortnite: Battle Royale. All that is dwarfed by mobile games — not divided by F2P and non-F2P — which raked in $61.3 billion in 2018. Overall, SuperData states that 80% of all digital games revenue came from free-to-play titles, which totaled $87.7 billion in revenue.
(One could quibble that adding up the Mobile, F2P PC, Social, and F2P Console totals gets us to $87.6 billion, which rounding could make $87.7 billion — but that assumes that the entire mobile category is F2P games. A large portion of it is, certainly, but not all of it.)
For the future, SuperData actually predicts a slight downturn in F2P revenue in Asia in 2019, though that will be made up for by increases in North America and Europe. Considering how over-the-top some big mobile hits have been for NCSoft and Nexon, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that those titles would stabilize some in the coming year. F2P PC games are expected to increase by about $2.2 billion in those three regions over the course of 2019, while console revenues hold steady.
As far as individual games go, this year SuperData combined all free-to-play games into one category, regardless of whether they’re on PC, console, or mobile. As a result, Fortnite at #1 and League of Legends is #3, but the rest of the top 10 list consists of mobile titles. League is down significantly, from $2.1 billion in 2017 to $1.4 billion in 2018.
That’s about all we can pull out of the report regarding free-to-play games. There’s a lot more in the report about non-F2P games, like just how much Red Dead Redemption 2 brought in, as well as who was the biggest Twitch streamer of 2018 (like you didn’t know already). You can grab a copy of it yourself for free on the SuperData website.