Tag Archives: PlayerUnknowns Battleground

SuperData Shows the WoW Surge Fading and LoL Still Down

Here in the last days of October SuperData Research finally has their September sales chart out for us.  I was a bit worried after they were acquired by Nielsen that they might stop feeding us this ranking regularly.  Now if I could just get CCP to give us the September MER as well.

Anyway, to the chart.

SuperData Research Top 10 – September 2018

Last month saw the Battle for Azeroth surge for World of Warcraft, which jumped it up to second place on the PC end of the chart, putting it ahead of League of Legends for the first time in the history of this monthly report.

However that head of steam didn’t seem to last, even with Blizz offering a special mount if you would just commit to a six month subscription.  WoW dropped to fifth position, though that still put it a bit ahead of its perennial seventh place slot, so maybe some people jumped on the mount bandwagon.  Of course, if they paid for six months in September then they won’t have paid anything in October, so we’ll see if WoW drops more next month.

WoW’s loss was LoL’s gain though, as Riot’s game moved up into second place as the constant top four on the chart were locked in together again, having also pushed Monster Hunter: World down from fourth to seventh spot.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds grabbed sixth position ahead of the so-popular-the-NHL-banned-it Fortnite, which came in at eighth.  Rounding out the list are a couple of the usual suspects from the bottom of the list, World of Tanks in ninth and CS:GO in tenth.  Hearthstone, which made the list last month, fell off for September.

In the middle, the console chart has Destiny 2 at the top, most likely due to the release of the Forsaken DLC last month.  Marvel’s Spider-Man, a new release, captured second place, while FIFA 19 came in at third place.  Fornite, last month’s top entry, sank to fourth place in the face of this new content, with NBA 2K19, another new release, close behind in fifth.

FIFA 18, apparently not completely sapped by the release of its successor, stayed on the list in sixth position.  Call of Duty: WWII fell to seventh, but stayed ahead of the fresh Shadows of the Tomb Raider in eighth.  2013’s Grand Theft Auto V, which has stayed on the list, and even topped it at times despite its age, stayed alive in ninth place while PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds showed back up in tenth.

Among the titles pushed out of the way was Blizzard’s Overwatch.

Then on the mobile end of the chart, there was only a minor re-arrangement of last month’s titles, with Pokemon Go holding onto third position and Candy Crush Saga moving from tenth to seventh spot.

Other items from the report:

  • FIFA 19 scores best digital launch in franchise history. We estimate FIFA 19 digital console units grew 18% compared to FIFA 18 last year. Sales for the digital launch of FIFA hit another record, although the series continues to lag other AAA franchises in terms of download rates.
  • Destiny 2 gets a big boost from ForsakenDestiny 2 topped our digital console rankings this month on the back of the new Forsaken expansion and an increase in deluxe edition purchases. Over 60% of all monthly active users purchased the expansion.
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man is Sony’s biggest launch to-dateSpider-Man sold 2.17 million digital units on PS4 in September, excluding download codes bundled with console sales, just edging out God of War‘s launch earlier this year.
  • NBA 2K19 marks a new franchise peak – but with a caveat. While NBA 2K19 digital console unit sales were up year-over-year from NBA 2K18, growth fell short of the rate seen in the past couple of years.It should be noted that this year’s iteration of the game launched earlier in the month.

SuperData Shows WoW Way Up, League of Legends Down

As September winds to a close SuperData Research has released their digital revenue numbers for August, and the month saw quite a shake up in the status quo.

SuperData Research Top 10 – August 2018

This is only the third time since SuperData started publishing this set of monthly charts that League of Legends has not held the top spot in the PC column and it is the only time it has been lower than second place.

Last month Dungeon Fighter Online took the first place position from LoL.  Not only did DFO hold that spot, but now World of Warcraft has come in and pushed LoL down another notch.

Certainly, with the launch of the Battle for Azeroth expansion in August, it was expected that WoW would surge as last minute buyers grabbed the new content and resubscribed.  But passing LoL is another thing, and it certainly brings into question the “WoW is dead” crowd.

Of course, I do wonder how much this has to do with Riot Games, the studio responsible for LoL, and the toxic workplace revelations that have been showing up in the press, starting with the expose at KotakuLoL has long had a reputation for its horrible player base, but it appears that this is something of a reflection of how the company is run.  As noted below, LoL is not having a good performing year and maybe its reign at the top of the chart is over.

Then there was Monster Hunter: World which jumped onto the chart in the fourth place position, pushing Crossfire and Fantasy Westward Journey II, long staples of the top of the chart, down to fifth and sixth spots respectively.

All of that put the battle royale games, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds down to seventh and eight positions.

Also popping up onto the chart was Hearthstone, which managed a ninth place entry, leaving the bottom of the stack to World of Tanks, which at least held on to its long streak onto the chart even if it dropped a couple spots.

So this is why I like to track this chart every month.  An individual month is cool but not all that informative.  Trends over time though, reaction to events and launches and that sort of thing, that is the interesting bit for me.  Even if you question SuperData’s data gathering techniques, even flawed data, gathered consistently over time, has value.

On the console chart Fortnite held on to the first spot for another month and FIFA 18 returned in second and Grand Theft Auto V, long a staple of the console chart, stayed in third.

Madden 19 debuted strong on the console chart while Overwatch returned to the chart, ringing in at eighth place, giving Blizzard another title on the overall report.

And on the mobile chart the rankings was almost identical with the July chart, with Pokemon Go holding on to third.  The only change was Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga which swapped positions, putting them at ninth and tenth respectively.

So kind an interesting chart at the PC end, but not much change on consoles and almost no change for the mobile end.  It will be interesting to see if Blizz’s mount bribe will keep WoW high in the ranks for September and then if it will collapse because the core audience won’t have to pay again until March.

Supplementary data with the chart:

  • Madden 19 sets new franchise launch record. We estimate Madden 19 sold 664K digital units on console. This easily made it the best ever launch month for the franchise, though sales benefited from an earlier release date this year.
  • League of Legends heads towards its worst performing year since 2014. League of Legends revenue is down 21% compared to the same time period in 2017.
  • Blizzard hits a home run with World of Warcraft expansion. World of Warcraft made $161M in August following the release of its “Battle of Azeroth” expansion, not including all pre-sales in the months leading up to launch. Subscribers for WoW West hit its highest point since 2014.
  • Monster Hunter World sells 2M units on PC. Capcom’s action game had a successful launch on console earlier this year, and the PC version looks to be doing even better. Monster Hunter World took first place in this month’s top grossing Premium PC rankings, knocking PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds down to second.

SuperData sees League of Legends Slip and Fortnite Possibly Peak

With the end of August at hand SuperData Research has their digital revenue numbers out for July.

SuperData Research Top 10 – July 2018

For only the second time since I have been covering this monthly update League of Legends is not in first place on the PC side of the house.  The last time was back in March, when Dungeon Fighter Online overtook the dominant MOBA.  As happened then, I am not sure if LoL sagged a bit in July, DFO saw a surge, or if the two are just close enough in general that this should happen more often.  Certainly last year’s revenue summary from SuperData had LoL out in front by nearly half a billion dollars, but that could have changed.

Otherwise the usual top four remain secure again at the top of the list as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which disturbed the status quo by jumping into third place last month, fell back into sixth place behind its nemesis Fortnite.

World of Warcraft held onto seventh place overall and World of Tanks held eighth again while DOTA 2 and CS:GO swapped spots from last month, leaving no newcomers on the chart for July.

On the console chart Fornite held onto its top position, with FIFA 18 behind it in second again.  GTA V had a new update which helped the five year old title roll back into third position.  No Man’s Sky got some good press with its latest update as well as launching on XBox, helping it into an impressive sixth spot while Overwatch fell off the list for July.

When it comes to mobile Honor of Kings stayed in its usual top position while Pokemon Go held onto the third rank spot it achieved last month.  Candy Crush Saga, the perennial match three title on the list, stayed in eight position for the month.

Other items from the SuperData monthly report:

  • Fortnite’s peak may be behind us. Fortnite revenue is up only 2% from June. Growth was modest despite Epic releasing Season 5 of the game’s battle pass midway through the month.
  • No Man’s Sky has its best month since launch. No Man’s Sky generated an estimated $24 million across all platforms in July after releasing its much anticipated NEXT DLC and launching on Xbox One. Over two million players were active in July, a 10x increase from June.
  • Overwatch revenue continues to slide despite consistent playerbase. Overwatch additional content sales across all platforms declined year-over-year and sequentially from June. On the other hand, monthly active users increased due to a free-to-play weekend and the release of a new playable Hero.
  • Grand Theft Auto returns to form with “After Hours” update. We estimate GTA Online had its highest earning month of the year so far, and second only to December 2017 for highest month since launch.

SuperData and PUBG Resurgent

As another month draws towards a close SuperData Research has their monthly top ten lists ready for us.

SuperData Research Top 10 – June 2018

On the PC end of this things this month saw a surge by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which leapt from ninth place in May to third position in June, pushing down Crossfire and Fantasy Westward Journey Online II, both perennial top four entries on the list. Aside from the release of a new map it seems that a price cut on Steam was what drove the jump by PUBG, catapulting it over its rival Fortnite, which is down in sixth place.

League of Legends and Dungeon Fighter Online held onto their usual top two positions, while DOTA 2 fell down to the ninth slot. World of Warcraft and World of Tanks held steady in seventh and eighth position for the month, as did CS:GO in tenth.

On the console chart though Fortnite held onto its dominance, grabbing the top spot for the second month in a row, followed again by FIFA 18 and Call of Duty: WWII.

The Crew 2, newly launched, took the fourth slot, pushing the aging but resilient Grand Theft Auto V down to fifth. Far Cry 5 was also a new entry on the list, while Detroit: Become Human and Destiny 2 both fell off the chart in June.

While Fortnite‘s success gives hope to the industry, SuperData had a report earlier this week about how the game’s popularity might be cannibalizing the video game market rather than expanding it.

On the mobile end, while Honour Kings and QQ Speed held first and second position yet again, Pokemon Go pushed up from fourth to third, supplanting Fantasy Westward Journey. Last month SuperData said that Pokemon Go was poised for a strong summer, with new features to tempt people back during the outdoor season. Down in ninth spot Candy Crush Saga stayed on the chart for yet another month.

Other items from the SuperData report:

  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds gets huge bump from Steam sale. PUBG sold 4.7 million units on PC in June, up significantly from May and only second to its peak month in October 2017. Growth was underpinned by a reduced price point of $19.99 on Steam.
  • The Crew 2 sells 700,000 digital units across Console and PC at launchThe Crew 2 fell far short of Far Cry 5‘s impressive launch earlier this year but digital sales eclipsed those of the original The Crew due to the shift away from physical sales.
  • The Sims 4 is still going as strong as ever. We estimate that over 800,000 PC players purchased the new “Seasons” expansion for The Sims 4 in June, making it the game’s second-most successful expansion after November’s “Cats and Dogs”. This is especially impressive considering The Sims 4 is approaching its fourth year.
  • Call of Duty: WWII trajectory outpaces Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare but lags Call of Duty: Black Ops III. WWII’s additional content revenue was up significantly compared to IW’s last year due to a new DLC release, but it still could not match BOIII’s “Zombies” DLC sales last June, despite BOIII being in its second year at the time.

Seeing The Sims 4 mentioned almost brings back a pang of nostalgia.  A decade back no list of best selling games would have lacked for a few titles from The Sims franchise.

SuperData Shows League of Legends Dethroned and Fortnite Still Booming

SuperData Research has their numbers for March out and it shows an unexpected (at least to me) change with some of the usual suspected.

SuperData Research Top 10 – March 2018

League of Legends lost its first place spot on the PC list.  If you go to the SuperData tag here and scroll down the past posts, you will see that League of Legends has held that spot since the list was a thing.  It has been there for so long it seemed like it was just locked in place.

Of course, it was supplanted by Dungeon Fighter Online, a Korean game big in the China market that has been hanging around second or third position for as long as LoL has been in first place.

I’m not sure if League of Legends is sagging a bit or if the Season 4 release for Dungeon Fighter Online was that popular, but we have a new player in first position for now.

Further down the list Fortnite pushed into fifth spot while PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, fifth last month, dropped down to seventh place behind World of Warcraft.  World of Tanks held on to the eighth slot while Far Cry 5 joined at ninth, taking that spot from Hearthstone, and CS:GO held on to tenth.

On the console list Fortnite broke into the number one spot in March, followed by popular new comer Far Cry 5, pushing down FIFA 18, Call of Duty WWII, and the long in the tooth GTA VSea of Thieves also hove into view on the list while Monster Hunter: World fell from fourth to tenth spot.

And on the mobile list Pokemon Go and Candy Crush Saga swapped positions compared to the February list.

It seems like things are still full speed ahead for Fortnite and their conquest of the battle royale genre.

Other items from their update:

  • Dungeon Fighter Online has generated the highest revenue of any Free-to-Play PC game in March on the back of their third anniversary celebration and a limited event that challenged players to level up new characters for special items.
  • Tencent’s mobile kart-racing game, QQ Speed, has generated over $100M in revenue for its third month in a row.
  • 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III continues to hold an impressive audience despite being two iterations behind this year’s Call of Duty: WWII. Developer Activision is continuing support for the game, releasing a new mode and map this month.
  • Fortnite had quite a March. The game has overtaken the previous “king of battle royale,” PUBG, in terms of revenue generated and monthly active users across all platforms. It also hit the #1 spot by revenue on iOS in the United States in its launch month and has the highest conversion rate of any free-to-play PC game in March. There’s no other way to say it: the game is a phenomenon. Fortnite generated $223 million across all platforms (console, PC, Mobile) in March, up a whopping 73% from February. Drake, a new season of the Battle Pass, and a John Wick skin all contributed to the massive growth.
  • Far Cry 5 marks a strong return for the franchise. Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 sold an estimated 2.5 million digital units across console and PC. On console, Far Cry 5‘s digital launch was up nearly 500% compared to Far Cry Primal two years ago. This points to not only the underlying health of the Far Cry series, but also to growing digital download rates for AAA console games in 2018.
  • Sea of Thieves has early success but with a caveat. Sea of Thieves had 1.7 million monthly active users on console and 283,000 on PC during its launch month. However – more than half of these users obtained the game through the limited free trial offered as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. This leaves some unanswered questions concerning the long-term success of the title.
  • Candy Crush hits another multi-year high on mobile. Candy Crush had its most successful month since 2014. King’s flagship mobile title has been showing double-digit year-over-year growth since mid-2017.

SuperData says Fortnite Continuing to Climb

The February digital revenue numbers from SuperData Research are out and they show what SuperData has already been going on about; the rise of Fortnite.

SuperData Research Top 10 – February 2018

On the PC side of things Fortnite is still behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but that is PUBG’s strong spot.  On the console side of thing Fortnite is alone in third position with PUBG nowhere to be seen.  And when it comes to live stream viewership, the metric of the hour, Fortnite owns.

On the PC side of things both games kept ahead of World of Warcraft on the revenue front.  World of Tanks, which just saw a big update, tucked in behind WoW, displacing CS:GO, which fell to tenth, while ninth position saw Hearthstone pop up onto the list.  We’ll see next month if World of Tanks benefits from the update.

On the console side list Call of Duty: WWII continued to hold the top spot, while FIFA 18 and Fortnite both pushed ahead of Monster Hunter World.  The long on the list GTA V held on in fifth position.

And on the mobile list Candy Crush Saga stayed in fourth place while Lineage M dropped one position to eighth and Pokemon Go moved up to ninth.  Both PUBG and Fortnite have their own mobile versions on the way so the battle between these titles may eventually expand to all three lists on the chart.

Additional data from their post:

  • U.S. digital spending grows 21%. Growth came primarily from an increase in Console spend, from both large premium AAA franchises and the popularity of the Free-to-play Fortnite. Combined with the increase in Premium PC, these segments more than offset continued declines in Pay-to-Play PC and Social.
  • Fortnite continues its upward trajectory. Epic’s Battle Royale title showed no signs of losing steam. Fortnite earned more additional content revenue on console than any game other than Call of Duty: WWII and now has more monthly active users than Grand Theft Auto V.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sells over 2.5 million digital units. PC unit sales declined for a second month in a row but continued purchases on Xbox One made up for some of the lost ground.
  • Tencent’s QQ Speed cements itself as a top 10 mobile game. QQ Speed, which launched in December, has shown one of the fastest climbs of any mobile title we’ve seen, and points to just how fast new mobile games can aggregate tens of millions of players.
  • Overwatch continues to hold buyers through back-to-back cosmetic releases, despite heavy competition for the consumer’s dollar from popular Battle Royale titles. January introduced Overwatch League themed cosmetics and February saw the release of cosmetics related to Chinese New Year.
  • Monster Hunter World continues to see great success in its first 30 days of release, due to overwhelmingly positive reviews and news.

Honest Game Trailers – Fortnite

Honest Trailers did a video about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds months back, just when it was starting to rise in popularity, taking over the market briefly held by the now officially released (and suddenly free) H1Z1 soon thereafter.  But I skipped past that back then because the game hadn’t really hit its stride yet as a dominate player.

But now Honest Trailers has a video about Fortnite, the one-time co-op game that showed up to totally eat PUBG’s lunch, according to SuperData, for specific definitions of “lunch.”

The building part of Fortnite, even in its battle royale mode, does look interesting.