MMO Money: Fortnite on iOS Earns $300 Million in 200 Days

After a brief break, we’re back looking at the gaming business world. This week we have more updates to the ongoing Tencent story, Fortnite on iOS earns $300 million in 200 days, acquisitions, downsizes, and much more. Find all the stories below in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Fortnite on iOS Earns $300 Million in 200 Days

Fortnite on iOS

Fortnite continues to dominate the world of gaming having earned $300 million just on iOS in 200 days, with $20 million of that coming from the week after Season 6 launched. This news comes from a new Sensor Tower report. The last one on Fortnite iOS showed the game had brought in $100 million in 90 days. Quite a big difference between the two. While this is massively impressive, it actually isn’t the fastest game to reach $300 million on iOS, that record goes to Pokemon Go which got there in just 113 days. However, just as Fortnite iOS was able to surpass Clash of Clans, which it had failed to beat at the 90-day mark, it is entirely possible the game will also surpass Pokemon Go at the next milestone. Fortnite’s biggest rival, PUBG Mobile has reached about $47 million on iOS since it started offering in-app purchases on April 15th.

A whopping 65% of the revenue from the 200 days came from the United States. Around the world, players spend an average of $1.5 million per day on just the iOS version of the game, and that number has gone up to $2.5 million since the launch of season 6. On Android, it has been estimated that Fortnite has brought in over $60 million since it started beta in early August.

Source: Sensor Tower

 

Epic Games Acquires Game Security Firm Kamu

Epic Games has acquired a Helsinki based game security and anti-cheating firm named Kamu. They offer publishers a range of services that include multiplayer game management, game security, game telemetry, and anti-cheat technology that is used by 100 million PC players around the world. They’ve been working with Epic on Fortnite to ensure that the multiplayer is fair for all players. The amount Epic acquired Kamu for has remained undisclosed.

Source: Games Industry

 

UK Games Industry Contributes £2.87 Billion to the Economy

A new report on the effect of tax relief in the UK has revealed that the UK games industry contributes £2.87 billion to the economy. It also supports 47,620 full-time equivalent jobs. Games that were part of the tax relief system generated £156 million in tax revenue. This comes from £45 million that was paid out in tax relief, meaning that for every £1 invested by the government in the games industry, another £4 was added to the economy. In many cases, the games never would have been made if it weren’t for the tax relief that the UK offers. The number generated was higher than children’s TV which brought in £2.73 for every £1. It certainly wasn’t the highest however, with animation (£4.44), high-end TV (£6.10), and film (£7.69) bringing in more. Still, the UK has proven that tax relief for video games is incredibly profitable for the people of the United Kingdom. All of these numbers come from 2016 and are likely higher today.

Source: Games Industry

 

Tencent Update

We’ve been following Tencent quite a bit recently as they’ve been massively impacted by the new regulations in China and it is time for yet another update to the story. So far this year, the company has seen $190 billion wiped from its market value.

At the beginning of October, Tencent announced they would be restructuring for the first time in six years. The company has decided to consolidate three content business groups to form a new group for cloud and smart industries. The company said in a statement: “[Tencent will] further explore the integration of social, content and technology that is more suitable for future trends, and promote the upgrade from consumer internet to industrial internet.”

Tencent has also started using facial recognition software to check the age of people playing Honour of Kings in China. Honour of Kings has previously faced backlash for causing addiction in young players. In July last year, Tencent introduced a daily play limit of one hour for children under 12 and two hours for those aged 13 to 18. They also added real-name recognition to the game last month. The trial is limited to thousands of players in Beijing and Shenzhen.

Finally, to round out the Tencent news for this week, the company has announced that they’ve invested $316 million in Bilibili. This will give Tencent a 12.3% share of the company which owns the Overwatch League Hangzhou team. The company itself is a video sharing service but it is also the owner of a League of Legends team. So, while things may be looking somewhat grim for Tencent at the moment they are still investing in other companies, which is always a good sign.

Source: Games Industry, Games Industry, Games Industry

 

Media Company Advance Acquires Majority Stake in Newzoo

Advance, the media company behind Reddit, Conde Nast, Charter Communications, and many others now has a majority stake in game industry analysts Newzoo. Alongside the majority stake purchase, Advance is planning on making a significant investment in the company. With the investment, the company plans to increase its US presence, beginning with the existing office in San Francisco. Newzoo also plans on opening an office in New York, where Advance is located, in the future.

Source: Games Industry

 

South Korean Network OGN Bringing Esports Programming to North America

Esports Network OGN has announced that they’re investing around $100 million to broadcast live esports events in North America, with a part of this beginning with PUBG. They will be broadcasting the debut of the National PUBG League (NPL). The NPL is planned to start in January with a prize pool of $1 million. To house the league, OGN has started construction of a 35,000 square foot arena in Manhattan Beach, California.

Source: CNBC

 

Infinite Esports & Entertainment Lays off 19 Employees

Overwatch Arcade Changes We'd Like to See - Overwatch Battle Royale

Infinite Esports, a holding company with a number of esports related subsidiaries including the Overwatch League Houston Outlaws team, has laid off 19 employees and replaced their President. The new President of the company has come out and said that they grew too fast. Going forward, 70 employees will remain at the company, including the previous President who will remain involved as co-founder and owner.

Source: Games Industry

 

FIFA 19 Now Gives You the Odds on Packs

For the first time ever, FIFA 19 is disclosing pack odds…and it isn’t great news. The trouble with it lies in the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) and the Ones to Watch promotion. The promotion includes 23 of the highest profile and most promising transfers from across the world. Special versions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Riyad Mahrez are included. These highly sought after cards have a less than one percent chance of dropping. The inclusion of the odds comes after EA ran into trouble with the Belgian Gaming Authority with FIFA 18’s lootboxes.

Source: Gamasutra

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Guild Wars 2 Gems Cannot be Bought by Belgian Players

While it’s not clear whether this is associated with the country’s recent stance on loot boxes or not, what is clear is that Guild Wars 2 Gems apparently cannot be bought by Belgian players in an unannounced change to the MMO’s monetization scheme.

guild wars 2 gems

The issue was first reported by players on the game’s forums this past Friday, but a Reddit post expanded on the issue, stating that the issues have been occurring since this past Wednesday, September 19th.

Belgian players who connect to Guild Wars 2 via VPN and try to buy Gems that way have experienced no such restrictions. In addition, the country has been completely removed from the list of billing locations from the game’s storefront on its website. All of this seems to lend weight to the idea that the country is blocking the transactions as a result of their heightened awareness of loot boxes and their relation to the country’s gambling laws.

At the time of this writing, there’s no official word from ArenaNet about the issue, but we’ll be sure to update this story if there’s any confirmation or other official announcement.

Our Thoughts

While we still agree with the many moves being made against loot boxes, we do have to wonder what this means for Belgian players and for Guild Wars 2 in the country. Presumably, there will be some new form of monetization arriving to those players so they can continue to offer their monetary support to the MMO. Details are likely to come later.

Source: PCGamesN

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MMO Money: 16 Countries to Investigate Lootboxes and More China Trouble

There are really only two big news stories from the last week in gaming business. The biggest story is the ongoing lootbox controversy and the fact that 16 countries have now signed a declaration to investigate lootboxes and skin gambling, and news on the Chinese regulation of new games entering the market is grim as it looks like it could continue for some time to come. Plus, there’s a surprise in this week’s UK gaming charts as an MMORPG that is several years old enters the top 10. Find all of that below in this week’s MMO Money.

 

China’s Freeze on New Games May Continue Another 4-6 Months

There’s more bad news this week for Tencent and in fact, any game company hoping to break into the Chinese games market from outside of China. It looks as though the government mandated freeze on new games may continue another 4-6 months. It began in March as the government announced they would be implementing new procedures and systems for games entering their market but these things take time to create. In the meantime, there has been a massive reduction in the number of new foreign made games released in China. Part of the reason they’ve cited for not approving new games has been a recommendation from the Ministry of Education who suggest that limiting games and the amount of time young people can play them may reduce child myopia. This, despite there being no scientific proof that looking at a screen all day causes myopia.

So far this hasn’t had a massive impact on larger publishers like Tencent and Netease. Yes, Tencent lost billions in its market value, but it still only amounted to a small percentage of their worth. Larger companies like this will have had permission for games well in advance of their release and they’re still banking on those, but the longer this hold continues the fewer games they will have left to release in China. That lack of growth will end up impacting the bottom line of these companies in a big way. The Chinese market is already starting to feel the effects too, as market growth is down to just 5% from 30% at the same time last year.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

UK Charts

The Elder Scrolls Online

This week The Elder Scrolls Online was the big surprise on the charts. It entered the charts at number 8 ahead of the release of their latest DLC Murkmire. At the same time, GTA V has dropped down a few places to number 6. PUBG was also pushed down to 11 from 9. Ultimately, Spider-Man managed to keep the number one spot for another week, which isn’t surprising at all given how universally loved it is. Check out the full top 10 below.

This Week Game Last Week
1 Spider-Man 1
2 Shadow of the Tomb Raider New Entry
3 NBA 2K19 New Entry
4 Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy 5
5 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe 7
6 Grand Theft Auto V 3
7 F1 2018 4
8 The Elder Scrolls Online New Entry
9 LEGO The Incredibles 10
10 Super Mario Odyssey 15

 

Lootboxes

Just when it seemed like we might be able to stop talking about lootboxes because news was slowing to a complete standstill on that front, it jumps back up to be the center of attention again. Since the last MMO Money was released, we’ve had three different stories coming from Europe about lootboxes.

The first one is actually a continuation from last week. Belgium has officially started criminal investigations into EA’s noncompliance with the country’s gambling laws. EA has continued to maintain that lootboxes aren’t gambling, which seems like a pretty massive gamble on EA’s part. We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out in Belgium.

Just a couple of days later researchers in the UK identified a link between lootboxes and gambling. They surveyed adults playing 10 major games with lootboxes and found there is an important relationship between problem gambling and the use of lootboxes. The more severe a participant’s gambling problem, the more money they spent on lootboxes. They also go on to say the following:

“However, regardless of the direction of causality, the games industry faces a crisis of conscience. Industry bodies such as the ESRB can no longer claim that there is little evidence of a link between problem gambling and loot box use. We call on individual companies within the games industry to remove loot boxes from their products. When companies include loot boxes in their games, our results suggest that they are either profiting from problem gambling or causing problem gambling. Loot boxes have no place in video gaming culture. We also follow Drummond and Sauer in recommending that ratings agencies incorporate additional parental advisories into games that feature loot boxes. We recommend that games with loot boxes are restricted to players of legal gambling age. Given the severity of the link seen here we also strongly recommend that relevant authorities restrict access to loot boxes as if they were a form of gambling.”

Your move EA.

Finally, 15 member nations of the 2018 Gambling Regulators European Forum signed a declaration in which they expressed concern over third-party game related betting and skin-gambling sites, as well as the potential for lootbox models to bleed over into legitimate gambling. This is mostly a declaration stating that they intend to begin investigating lootbox regulation. The declaration was signed by the 15 nations that take part in the forum, which are Austria, Czech Republic, France, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Washington State, and the UK. Finland also joined in the signing of this declaration, though they aren’t involved in the forum. This could represent a major shift in lootbox regulation just as it seemed like the whole issue was dying out. It’s going to be interesting watching this story develop over the coming months, and could finally mean the big change so many consumers have been hoping for. Everyone cross your fingers!

And no, I don’t know why the United States has a representative on the Gambling Regulators European Forum, I’m still trying to work that out myself.

Source: Nieuwsblad.be, Loot Box Spending in Video Games is Linked to Problem Gambling Severity by David Zendle and Paul Cairns, UK Gambling Commission

 

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Global Gambling Regulators Join Forces to Fight Loot Boxes

15 European gambling regulation bodies and one from Washington state in the US are joining forces to attack the more predatory aspects of loot boxes head-on. This new gambling regulation group will try to combat both third-party gambling operations tied to games as well as loot box monetization practices.

gambling regulation group

According to statements made during the 2018 Gambling Regulators European Forum, this new group’s mission is twofold, with plans to address “unlicensed third-party websites offering illegal gambling linked to popular video games” and ensuring that gaming loot boxes themselves “do not constitute gambling under national laws.”

Based on statements made by UK Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur, the motivating force behind these new measures is the protection of children. “We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected,” said McArthur.

It does bear noting that the joint effort does not expressly outline what sorts of measures will be taken against these loot box-related practices. That said, the international effort is a significant one considering countries and states in the US have been acting independently up to this point.

Our Thoughts

While words are indeed vapor, the fact that several countries are attempting to put together at least a unified front against loot boxes definitely is heartening. It’s also interesting to note that countries that seemed previously dismissive of the issue appear to be doing an about face. Still, it will likely be some time before we see any tangible results from this new move.

Source: Eurogamer

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EA Under Criminal Investigation in Belgium for FIFA Loot Boxes

You’ve got to fight! For your right! To charge people for the chance at cards to fill out a digital football team! That appears to be the stance that EA has taken up regarding FIFA loot boxes, as the company’s unwillingness to remove the monetization practice from FIFA 18 and 19 has kicked off a criminal investigation by Belgian authorities.

fifa loot boxes

A ruling from Belgium in April threatened action against a number of games including FIFA if loot box practices were not changed or outright remove to comply with the country’s gambling laws. While a number of titles complied with the order, EA did not and so the Belgian public prosecutor’s office is launching a criminal investigation, which could land EA in court.

EA has made it clear that it doesn’t agree with Belgium’s assessment of loot boxes as gambling. EA CEO Andrew Wilson argued in May that the fact players always get something absolves loot boxes from the definition, and EA mentioned in June that loot boxes in FIFA 19 will disclose the odds of getting certain player cards for the game’s Ultimate Team feature. It appears, however, that adjustment was not enough for Belgium.

Whether the case goes to court or not, it appears that Belgium will continue its push against loot box practices, stating in part that it will advocate revisions to the country’s gambling laws to directly cover loot boxes according to a translation of Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad.

Our Thoughts

Small market or not, it’s clear that Belgium is not looking to back down against loot box practices and has taken a “all out or else” stance. We’re definitely curious to know where this story goes from here and what sort of repercussions, if any, it will have in the wider gaming world.

Sources: Eurogamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Lord of the Rings Online Outlines Loot Box Changes for Update 23

Lord of the Rings Online Update 23 is, ostensibly, going to bring some adjustments to the MMORPG, but the subject of LotRO loot boxes was the focus of a forum post made by the game’s executive producer. Come the game’s next major content patch, there will be a variety of tweaks to their contents along with ways for players to circumvent the monetization if they so choose.

lotro loot boxes

The post opened up by outlining what loot boxes should not be in LotRO, specifying that any gear earned from a loot box should also be attainable from playing the game. Additionally, gear earned from higher level instances should always be more powerful than loot box kit.

With that in mind, equipment earned from loot boxes will still be a thing, but mostly as a means for players to catch up to those sitting in the higher echelons of item power. That said, gear found in loot boxes will also be available to earn by spending an upcoming end game currency called Embers of Enchantment at a special vendor if players want to avoid buying keys. Embers can be gained from doing weekly quests or deconstructing unwanted gear.

“We absolutely want to reward players who are awesome enough to support the long-term success of the game by opening lootboxes, and get joy in doing it, but we don’t want players to feel like they are forced to open lootboxes in order to play or excel in the game,” explains the post.

Our Thoughts

In our estimation, putting gear in a loot box is still not exactly a brilliant idea, even if said gear can be earned in-game. As it stands, there’s no clear way of knowing how much time it will take to earn enough Embers to get the right equipment, and loot boxes that offer a “pay to avoid grind” option are only marginally better than “pay to win” ones.

Source: official forums

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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: EA Eyes Battle Royale and Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

We’re back again with another look at the world of MMO business. This week we’ve got more funding milestones, Superdata has released another month’s revenue report, and there’s more lootbox news. Oh, and we can’t forget the Battle Royale games. Battle Royale forever!

 

Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

ArtCraft Entertainment has now raised $20 million from a combination of investments, partnerships, and their crowdfunding efforts. The Kickstarter campaign finished with more than $1.7 million donated back in March 2015. Later that same year they had raised $10 million through investments. Now, in the time since then, they’ve doubled their money and raised another $10 million. This was announced in a press release by the company in which they also announced an international distribution agreement that will see Crowfall released in Russia and the CIS.

 

Source: Press Release

 

Netease’s SpatialOS Investment

Netease has invested $50 million in SpatialOS which they’re calling a small equity stake to act as a strategic investment. How anyone can consider 50 million anything small is beyond me. Improbable has said that they’re establishing a presence in China to support game developers while also actively seeking other partners in Asia. In the press release announcing this investment, they also say: “the investment will increase our ability to help game makers in China and beyond to build previously impossible games, by helping game makers to benefit from a neutral, openly available technology platform supporting the next generation of online gaming.”

At the moment, SpatialOS is being used by Worlds Adrift, Mavericks, and Fractured. Last year they also received a half a billion dollar investment from SoftBank. What does this all mean? We’re like to see a whole lot more games made with SpatialOS in the future. Though, it should be noted that earlier this year Chronicles of Elyria dropped SpatialOS. It’s not clear yet if Netease will be using SpatialOS in any of their future games, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s outside the realm of possibility.

Netease was also in the news recently for another reason, they’re taking over publishing EVE Online in China starting in October. They’re also responsible for bringing Blizzard games to mainland China.

 

Source: Official Announcement

 

At EA Battle Royale Is On Everyone’s Mind

During EA’s Q1 earnings call executives fielded questions from investors and it seemed that everyone had Battle Royale fever. There were questions about if Battlefield V’s model might resemble Fortnite. EA held firm saying that the game’s Battle Royale mode would be just that, another mode. But there was also a hint at the possibility of EA releasing a comparable game in the future. “We’re interested in experimenting with a free-to-play standalone game that might be in a shooter genre or another genre. But I don’t think that’s how we’re looking at the Battlefield stuff right now.”

EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson also said that the company is open to cross-platform play. “We’re looking at key franchises in terms of how we should deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base,” he said. “The ability to bring PC to mobile or mobile to console can bring family and friends together, and we think that’s an important part of our future development profile. Expect more from us on that front in the future.”

So, expect more Battle Royale from EA in the future.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

Top Grossing Games in June

Superdata released their monthly look at the top grossing games with a look at June. PUBG got a massive boost thanks to the Steam sale. In June the game sold 4.7 million units, but at a reduced price. That being said it was still the second best month the game has ever had. On the list, PUBG jumped from 9th to 3rd for PC.

Pokemon Go also had a fantastic month, they were previously in 7th for mobile games back in April but have now jumped up to 3rd. They owe their success to the warm summer months and to very popular changes to the game which have brought a lot of players back. Including regular community events like the upcoming Eevee event in which Eevee will be a whole lot more common and boosts will last longer.

Much of the rest of the list remains the same, however.

 

Source: Superdata Report

 

Vainglory Made $50 Million Since Launch

Mobile MOBA Vainglory is one of the great successes of the MOBA genre and is widely considered the best mobile MOBA available. So it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that they have brought in $50 million since they launched in 2014. This actually makes it the third most successful mobile MOBA behind Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends. 32% of that revenue comes from the United States while Japan is the next highest at about 12%. Almost 64% of all revenue comes from iOS which isn’t really much of a surprise given that it launched as an iOS-only title. While everyone keeps talking about battle royale games it is nice to see former trends can still succeed.

 

Source: Sensor Tower Report

 

Lootboxes

For Dutch players of Dota 2, it is now plainly obvious what is contained inside lootboxes now. They’re following in the footsteps of Path of Exile who have done this previously. In doing so they put the power in the hands of the players, letting them decide if they want to buy it or not. While some people have said that it has taken the thrill out of opening the box, others welcome it as they’re now getting only what they want to pay for. While Valve hasn’t come out and said that this is because of the Dutch Gaming Authority’s ruling earlier this year, it isn’t a stretch at all to assume that it is. Yay progress!

Meanwhile, Rocket League has published a blog post which has the drop rates of crate rarity levels and they promise that any changes they make in the future will also be announced. The rates range from 55% to 1% and also include Painted and Certified Attributes.

 

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun, Rocket League

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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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MMOMoney: Pokemon Inspired Temtem Kickstarter Ends and France Speaks Out About Lootboxes

An MMORPG inspired by Pokemon has fully funded on Kickstarter and raised enough to unlock all their stretch goals, which includes Nintendo Switch support. Zenimax isn’t getting all the money it thought it was going to from a lawsuit. Plus the lootbox saga continues as another country makes a statement about them.

 

Temtem Finishes Kickstarter Campaign, Smashing Fundraising Goals

Temtem, the MMORPG inspired by Pokemon has finished their round of fundraising on Kickstarter. They finished with $573,919 raised when they were originally just asking for $70,000. Their stretch goals included minigames, a new game mode, in-game tournaments, and Nintendo Switch support just to name a few. Right now the timeline for the game says they’ll be starting Alpha for backers in November 2018. Early access will follow behind in September 2019. Then they give a launch date of May 2020 for the final release. Kickstarted MMOs are notorious for going over time and getting delayed though so only time will tell if this actually happens.

 

Zenimax is Only Getting Half of the Amount it Was Rewarded in Oculus Lawsuit

Oculus, Rift, Oculus Rift

You might remember that shortly after Oculus was bought up by Facebook Zenimax launched a lawsuit for $2 billion. In the lawsuit, Zenimax said that they were responsible for key breakthroughs in the development of the headset. Following a two week trial, Zenimax was awarded $500 million in damages. Oculus was found guilty of copyright infringement, false designation, and failing to comply with an NDA. At that time Oculus vowed to appeal. Well, the results are in and the $200 million for breach of contract and $50 million for copyright infringement has remained but the other half was thrown out.

Throughout Oculus argued that Zenimax’s contribution to the project was in fact rather small and included just 7 lines of code. Zenimax has said that they’re pleased to have won $250 million plus $54 million in interest. But they’re also disappointed the original verdict was cut in half.

“Based on a strong evidentiary record, the jury in this case found that ZeniMax was seriously harmed by the defendants’ theft of ZeniMax’s breakthrough VR technology and its verdict reflected that harm,” the company said in a statement, adding that it’s weighing next steps. So, this may not actually be the end of this story. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

 

Fortnite Mobile Has Half the Downloads of PUBG Mobile but Makes 5x the Money

A new report was released that shows Fortnite Mobile is made 5 times the amount of money PUBG Mobile did in an 11 week period that ended on June 18th. They managed to do this despite having half the number of downloads and only being available on iOS. Why is this you might ask, well it’s all about the business model. PUBG uses a lootbox system which results in a lot of duplicate items and a lot of stuff that players don’t want. Fortnite, on the other hand, gives players the opportunity to buy only what they want. No having to pray to RNGesus for the cool new shiny.

Player spending in PUBG did get a bit of a boost, however, thanks to the release of the Royale Pass. When it released player spending went up 365%! This grossed roughly 6.1 million dollars globally every week versus the previous $1.3 million average.

In May, a similar report was released which showed that PUBG’s revenue was only one-third of Fortnite’s.

However, Fortnite’s dominance of the market may be hitting its peak. In May the game earned over $300 million in one month for the first time. While incredibly impressive, it was actually only a 7% increase from April. This suggests that the game may have grown as much as it’s going to. We’ll have to see what June’s report looks like to know if we’re seeing a trend. Either way, Fortnite is still king of the royale.

 

Clash of Clans iOS Players Have Spent Over $4 Billion

Top MMO News: March 9, 2016

Clash of Clans is one of those games we don’t usually talk about on MMOGames but with an achievement like this, we thought we had to include it. It has been at the top of the charts for a long time now, and it’s the highest grossing game on iOS from July 2010 to May 2018. The $4 billion comes from app store spending. In second place is Candy Crush Saga, with Monster Strike following in third. Other titles that make the list of top iOS spending worldwide include the MOBA Arena of Valor (Honour of Kings) and Pokemon Go which just barely makes the top 10 coming in at number 10.

 

France Condemns Lootboxes But Doesn’t Ban Them

France’s gambling authority has come out and condemned lootboxes, saying that they were bad, but ultimately that’s all they did. They mentioned that lootboxes are like gambling and promote gambling behaviors but they wouldn’t come outright and say that lootboxes ARE gambling. They’ve also recommended voting on more conclusive statements at a later date. Basically, they just shoved it aside for an unspecified amount of time, possibly so they can gather more information on it or to wait and see what other countries do.

Just two weeks ago Valve turned off lootboxes for Dota 2 and CS:GO in The Netherlands in response to that country’s demands that lootboxes be removed. At the time Valve said that this was a temporary measure and they planned to fight the government on their ruling. Not quite the response people had hoped for, but also not entirely surprising. Gaming companies will of course fight any ban on lootboxes because they are incredibly lucrative.

It may be up to us as consumers to drive change in the industry. A difficult proposition when so many of us will quite happily throw money at lootboxes.

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