MMO Money: Tencent’s $20 Billion Loss and Fortnite’s Decline

After having taken a little bit of time off for the end of convention season the weekly online gaming business article is back with more amazing news. We have Superdata’s latest gaming revenue charts, the UK’s weekly gaming chart, a little bit of lockbox news, and a company that lost $20 billion in value and is still going strong.

 

Superdata July Charts

Fortnite's Decline

Superdata released their monthly look at the gaming charts around the world with some interesting findings for July. First up, League of Legends drops down to second in terms of earnings on PC. It was overtaken by Dungeon Fighter Online which is massively popular in the east. In fact, only 2 of the top 5 PC games at the moment are from the West; LoL, and Fortnite. Speaking of Fortnite, the game’s earnings were only up 2% in July over June which is prompting many to say that the game’s peak is now behind us and Fortnite’s decline is imminent. However, it is still growing…for now. And, if they can get past all the security issues, Fortnite does still have the Android release coming which will be massive for the game’s population and revenue.

Overwatch, despite having a very stable player base is seeing revenue continue to drop month after month. In fact, the game is no longer charting at all but looking back as far as December, this isn’t the first time that has happened this year. It was also the case in February and April. In December 2017 and January it was number 10 on the PC chart. It hasn’t appeared on the chart for PC again since then. Looking at the charts for all of 2017 Overwatch ranked number 2 on the revenue charts for all Premium PC games. So, while it may not be on the charts right now, there is every chance for it to come back as it has done previously. On the other end of the spectrum, No Man’s Sky had its best month since it launched, and GTA V had its second best.

Fortnite still hasn’t managed to make it into the charts for Mobile games and in fact, the mobile chart changed very little from June to July. The one change was Fate/Grand Order overtaking Monster Strike. Until Fortnite has a global release on Android we’re unlikely to see it push into the mobile charts. Even then, the early security issues may have done enough lasting damage to make sure they don’t chart.

Source: Superdata

 

Tencent Market Value Drops by $20 Billion…but its ok

Tencent mobile financials - MMOGames.com - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

If any other company besides Tencent had lost $20 billion in market value the company would be done for. For Tencent though, that was just 5%. While they did lose a massive amount of money, the real story is why. China has been cracking down on games from other countries for quite some time. Tencent has been able to profit off of this. They know the laws better than any Western studio so they can offer to publish the game in China and deal with all the red tape themselves, but recently China has been making it even harder for game studios.

What triggered this massive loss for Tecent was China’s new regulation that will restrict the number of new online games that are released as well as implementing age-appropriate restrictions on games, including how long you can play them. The reason they give for doing this is the massive number of nearsightedness found in Chinese youth. Though there hasn’t been any scientific backing of the claim that screen time has any impact on vision. All of this puts Tencent’s current business model in jeopardy and they will have to make some changes if they want to continue. If you’re interested in reading more on this check out our recent news post that goes into more detail.

 

UK Charts Gaming Charts

Minecraft MMO Money: Tencent's $20 Billion Loss and Fortnite's Decline

The UK is one of the few countries that release gaming charts on a weekly basis. We’ve decided to add them to our weekly business article as they give us some idea of how games are performing, not just in the UK but among all western audiences. At the top of the charts this week was F1 2018, managing to hold out against a new game on the chart, PES 2019. In third is Grand Theft Auto V which actually climbed one place from last week. PUBG managed to climb up from 11th to 7th this week. Amazingly, Minecraft is still in the top 20, last week it was at 14 and this week it dropped to 20. Check out the top 10 for the week ending on September 1st below.

This Week Game Last Week
1 F1 2018 1
2 Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 New Entry
3 Grand Theft Auto V 4
4 Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy 3
5 Yakuza Kiwami 2 New Entry
6 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 5
7 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 11
8 God of War 6
9 Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate New Entry
10 Fifa 18 10

Source: Press Release

 

Lootboxes

Overwatch Winter Wonderland - Christmas Loot Boxes

There hasn’t been a whole lot to talk about on the lootbox front. It seems like the world is slowly moving on and forgetting the topic altogether. Or maybe there’s a whole lot going on in the background that is going to take time to come into being. Either way, the big news recently is that Blizzard is disabling Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm lockboxes for Belgian players. Earlier this year Belgium was one of the first countries to investigate lootboxes in online games and issued threats to ban multiple games. Valve very quickly took action for CSGO and Dota 2.

Blizzard announced that they would be doing this on the official forums. In it they said…

“In April 2018, the Belgian Gaming Commission published a report that was endorsed by the Belgian Ministry of Justice in which they concluded that paid loot boxes in Overwatch are considered gambling under local law. While we at Blizzard were surprised by this conclusion and do not share the same opinion, we have decided to comply with their interpretation of Belgian law. As a result, we have no choice but to implement measures that will prevent Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm players located in Belgium from purchasing in-game loot boxes and loot chests with real money and gems.

No matter what, we want to make sure that our players around the world have the best entertainment experience possible. While players in Belgium will no longer be able to purchase paid loot boxes in Overwatch and loot chests in Heroes of the Storm, they’ll still be able to earn them by playing the games, and they’ll still have access to all in-game content.

These measures will be implemented shortly. We also remain open to further discussions with the Belgian Gaming Commission and Ministry of Justice on this topic.”

Source: Overwatch Forums

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MMO Money: Huge Disappointment for Tencent

Seed has raised more than 8 million dollars for development of the unique MMO, while Niantic has acquired another game studio. Fortnite is still making more money than anyone could ever count, but a massive mobile game from China has turned into a huge disappointment for Tencent. Plus, we have more lootbox news, which includes some very interesting statistics that show most players don’t care about them at all.

 

Klang Raises $8.75 million for space MMO Seed

Space colony MMO Seed has an extra $8.75 million to work with for the development of the game thanks to recent fundraising efforts. This brings the total the studio has raised for the game up to $13.95 million, thanks to a previous funding round in March. Speaking about the latest funding Klang’s CEO Mundi Vondi said: “We’re truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations. We are honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

 

Fornite Earned $1 Billion From In-Game Purchases Alone

Yes, Fortnite has become one those topics we’re covering every week and starting next week we’re going to lump all the Fortnite news into one section. This week thankfully we only have one thing to talk about, and that is that Fortnite has earned 1 billion dollars just from in-game purchases. Monthly revenue for the game has done nothing but climb since October as shown by the graph above. In May viewers watched almost 700 million hours of battle royale content, 83% of that was Fortnite. More on Fortnite coming soon…

 

“Coming Soon” No Longer Allowed in German Preorders

star citizen like eve online

A recent court ruling in Germany may have a ripple effect around the world as it was declared that using vague terms like “coming soon” in preorders isn’t allowed. Part of the ruling said: “in the view of the judges, this information was too vague to comply with the statutory information obligation of the providers. According to this, potential customers should know before the end of the ordering process how long the delivery time will be at the maximum.” Exactly what this means for the future of gaming isn’t clear yet but it could possibly put an end to vague release dates, Kickstarter claims, and much more.

 

Video Game Kickstarters Equal Almost $10 million So Far in 2018

ICO Partners have put out their regular report on Kickstarter campaigns for video games which shows that video game Kickstarters have brought in $9.82 million so far this year. That’s up just $400,000 from the same period last year. This was in fact done with fewer Kickstarter campaigns than in previous years, just 723, the lowest first half of the year since 2012. Kickstarter is generally seeing a bit of a slowdown when it comes to video games, as people are learning how difficult it is to put a successful campaign together.

 

Niantic Acquires Seismic Games

Just last week we were talking about Pokemon Go creators Niantic acquiring a company and now here we are with another, their fourth acquisition in recent months. This time they have acquired Seismic Games, the makers of Marvel Strikeforce and VR experience Blade Runner: Revelations. John Hanke, the CEO said this in a statement: “We recently gave a peek under the hood of the Niantic Real World Platform, and we see the addition of Seismic Games as a significant accelerant for realising our vision of an operating system that bridges the digital and the physical worlds. At Niantic, we’re committed to our mission of motivating people to exercise, be social, and discover new places. We’re confident that Seismic Games will help us deliver on that mission – faster, and better.” All of these acquisitions are putting Niantic in position for a lot of awesome in the future which makes you wonder, what are they coming up with next?

 

Mobile Game Spending Up in the First Half of 2018

Mobile game revenue is up 19% in the first half of 2018 in the App Store and Google Play. App Store spending was about $6 billion higher than Google Play. Combined, the estimate is that global spending on the two platforms was at $26.6 billion. That’s a 19.1% increase year on year. One thing that may have an impact on Google Play’s revenue is that it isn’t available in China, at all. Also, many Android apps are available in third-party stores which isn’t the case for iOS. The top grossing games across both stores were Honor of Kings, Monster Strike, and Fate/Grand Order. But, PUBG mobile was the most downloaded. All of this just goes to show that mobile gaming is here to stay and there’s a lot of money to be had.

 

Arena of Valor Revenue Passes $3 million in 7 Months

Arena of Valor

Its only been 7 months since Arena of Valor launched in the west and in that time they’ve brought in $3 million. For any other game that would be fantastic, but Arena of Valor is Tencent’s Honor of Kings, one of the most successful mobile games at the moment. The Chinese version of the game has 200 million players and in 2017 brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. The founder of Sensor Tower, the intelligence firm who released this information spoke about the launch of the game and why they think it’s underperforming. “Arena of Valor launched in the US just as the battle royale craze was beginning to heat up, with Fortnite hitting mobile three months later-and subsequently dominating the time and wallets of the very users Tencent’s MOBA is gunning for. Undeterred, the publisher has continued to build out the game in the West, adding new modes, content, and characters, most recently the eagerly anticipated debut of Batman as a playable hero.” All fair points…also, Batman will be playable? Where do I sign up?

 

Lootboxes

A patch was introduced to CS:GO for Dutch and Belgian players that locks containers, making it so you can’t open lootboxes in those countries. In June, Valve disabled item trading in the Netherlands in response to the threat of prosecution from the Dutch Gaming Authority. At the time they also said they hoped to fight it, now it seems that item trading is back but lootboxes may be gone for good.

A survey of gamers from the UK, France, Germany, and Spain has revealed that the majority of gamers are either unaware of lootboxes or largely indifferent to them. According to the survey, only 27% of gamers in these countries are aware of lootboxes. When it comes to general consumers that number drops to 17%. When asked if lootboxes are a positive influence on the games industry, 29% had no opinion while only 25% thought they don’t. In question after question, the respondents showed they had very little opinion on lootboxes at all. It would seem that those talking about them and thinking about them often are in the vocal minority.

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