devtodev is helping you keep in touch with what’s happening in the game market. Every month we publish an overview of reports on the most popular games worldwide, top-grossing games, successful releases, favorite video game types, trends, etc. This overview is prepared by Dmitriy Byshonkov - the author of the GameDev Reports by devtodev Telegram channel. You can read the July and August reports.
- Sensor Tower: Top 10 Mobile Games by Revenue and Downloads in July 2023
- Twitch: Viewers watched Baldur's Gate III for over 41M hours
- GameRefinery: Key mobile game updates in the US, China, and Japan in July 2023
- Niko Partners: Youth gamers in Japan
- Sensor Tower: Whiteout Survival is the revenue leader in South Korea in category
- Circana: The US gaming market returns to growth
- GameDiscoverCo & Gamalytic: Insights from Steam reviews
- Tencent: The number of registered users in Arena Breakout has exceeded 80M
- data.ai & IDC: Mobile Gaming Market to reach $108B in 2023
- Kadokawa ASCII: Japanese gaming market grew against global trends in 2022
- Newzoo: Diablo IV is the leader in MAU among RPGs in July 2023
- Tenjin: Hypercasual (Hybrid-Casual) games market in H1 of 2023
- Marvel Snap has reached the $100M revenue mark
- 6 Million people are playing Starfield already
- Sensor Tower: Mobile Puzzle games earned $42B in 11 years
- Video Games Europe: The European gaming industry in 2022
- GfK & GSD: Console Sales in the UK increased again in August 2023
- Sensor Tower: The Japanese mobile gaming market returned to growth in 2023
- Sensor Tower: Royal Match has surpassed Candy Crush Saga in revenue and downloads for the first time in history
- Ampere Analysis: The release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse boosted the MAU of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales by 77%
- GfK: PS5 sales in the H1 2023 in Germany tripled
- GameRefinery: Key Updates in Mobile Games in the US, China, and Japan in August 2023
- Circana: The revenue of the US gaming market in August 2023 increased by 3%
- Newzoo: PC and Console Market in 2023
- GSD: Starfield is fifth in the ranking of the largest launches in Europe this year
- TIGA: The number of employees in gaming companies in the United Kingdom increased by 15.2% in 16 months
- data.ai: Brawl Stars passed $2B in Revenue
- Leak: Microsoft's estimated expenditures on acquiring games for Xbox Game Pass
- GSD: Games and hardware sales in Europe grew in August 2023
- Naavik: Honkai: Star Rail revenue surpassed $1B on all platforms
- Starfield's audience exceeded 10M users
- Leak: the Xbox Series S is three times more popular than the Xbox Series X
- Niko Partners: The Indian Gaming Market in 2023
- AppMagic & WNHub: Top Games by Revenue & Downloads in August 2023
- Valheim sales have exceeded 12M copies
- Sensor Tower: Simulation Mobile Games Market in 2023
- Cyberpunk 2077 CCU on Steam increased 8-fold following the release of update 2.0
- Sensor Tower: Top Mobile Games by Revenue & Downloads in August 2023
- Omdia: Nintendo Switch users spend 5 times less on DLC than PlayStation and Xbox owners
- Values Value & inGameJob: European Game Industry Employment Study in 2023
- Newzoo: The US, Russia, and the UK - top countries for Baldur's Gate III by MAU in August 2023
- StreamElements & Rainmaker.gg: State of the game streaming market in August 2023
- King: Candy Crush Saga's revenue has surpassed the $20 billion mark
- Sensor Tower: Maple Story M surpasses $50 million mark in China faster than any Korean game
- The launch of PayDay 3 on Steam encountered problems
- Ubisoft: The Crew: Motorfest becomes the most successful launch in the franchise's history
- In July 2023, mobile gamers spent $6.56 billion on entertainment, roughly the same as the previous year.
- The United States is the largest mobile market ($1.9 billion - 28.7% of the total volume). China accounts for 19.7%, and Japan for 16.4%. As always, it should be noted that Sensor Tower does not calculate revenue from third-party Android stores in China.
- Honor of Kings earned $220 million in July and once again claimed the top spot.
- In second place is PUBG Mobile ($172 million). 62.8% of this revenue came from China; the United States accounted for 9%; India ranks third in revenue at 7.5%.
- Justice Online, the new MMORPG from NetEase, earned $113 million and climbed to the third position on the chart. It's worth mentioning that the game is currently only available in China.
- 4.74 billion games were downloaded in July 2023.
- India accounts for 17.5% of global downloads (833 million); Brazil is second with 9%; the US holds 8.4% of the market share in downloads.
- Garena Free Fire led in downloads in July, being downloaded over 21 million times. 27.7% of the downloads came from India, followed by Indonesia (9.4%) and Brazil (8.3%).
- Roblox ranked second in downloads (20.4 billion). Brazil accounted for 12.9% of the downloads; the US - 12.2%; Mexico - 7.3%.
- Arena Breakout by Tencent took the third spot in the ranking of the fastest-growing games by downloads in July.
Statistics were collected within 22 days after the game's global launch.
- 21 million unique users watched streams of the game.
- Larian Studios also prepared special extensions for channels, allowing viewers to see the streamer's build, their inventory, and participate in real-time dialogue choices. These extensions were installed by 45 thousand users.
- Diablo Immortal introduced a new character class - Blood Knight. Downloads surged by 400% after the update, but revenue remained unchanged, as the character isn't sold for money.
- In Monopoly GO, the first event - Baking Partners - was launched in July, leading to a doubled revenue since its start.
- Stumble Guys launched an event based on the "Barbie" movie.
- PUBG Mobile initiated a collaboration with Dragon Ball, nearly a year after the announcement.
- The Pokemon Company launched Pokemon Sleep, an app for sleep tracking with collecting elements. The app claimed the top spot for downloads in Japan, and Pokemon Go featured a thematic event.
- Dragon Ball Legends introduced a new character (Super Saiyan God SS Vegito), resulting in a 2000% revenue surge on the day of release.
- Justice Online ranked third in revenue and second in downloads in the country.
The company studied the behavior of Japanese individuals aged 6 to 18 who spend at least one hour per week playing games.
- The majority of Japanese youth play on consoles (72.3%). Following that are mobile devices (63.8%) and PCs (14.7%). Parents prefer consoles due to greater content control.
- Young gamers play an average of 8 hours per week on mobile devices and around 6.5 hours each on PCs and consoles.
- Japanese youth are more receptive to Western games, eSports, streaming, and VTubers. For example, 46% of Japanese youth watch esports competitions, compared to only 12% of all Japanese gamers.
- Buy-to-play games remain very popular in Japan, including among young players.
- Japanese youth's parents generally have a positive attitude towards games and are even open to playing themselves.
- The majority (66.9%) of Japanese parents believe that setting limits on game time is the responsibility of each family, rather than the government.
- Since its release on February 9th, the game has earned $130 million.
- Worldwide, Whiteout Survival has been downloaded over 12 million times.
- In July of this year, the game reached $32 million in monthly revenue and 3.4 million installations. These are records in both categories.
- The main revenue markets for the game are the United States (27.2%), South Korea (26.5%), Taiwan (6.8%), Germany (4.6%), and Japan (3.5%).
- Regarding downloads, the United States (19.7%) also takes the lead. Following are Turkey (7.2%), South Korea (5.3%), Germany (5.2%), and Indonesia (4.4%).
- The highest RPD (Revenue Per Download) is $52 in South Korea.
- Whiteout Survival ranks 11th on the list of top-grossing games in South Korea, and it holds the 1st place among strategy games. Its revenue is more than twice that of Top War: Battle Game, which holds the second spot.
- 58.1% of the traffic for Whiteout Survival in South Korea comes from paid sources, while 41.9% is organic. Sensor Tower notes that this situation is similar worldwide.
- Successful marketing efforts and creative strategies have allowed Whiteout Survival to become a leader in South Korea's YouTube SOV (Share of Voice).
- The company expects that the American gaming market will finish the year 2023 with a growth of 3%, reaching $58.3 billion.
- In the past 12 months, the revenue of the US gaming industry amounted to $57 billion. This is 1% more than the same period the previous year, and 13% more than the period from July 2019 to July 2020.
- Gaming hardware sales for this period reached $7 billion, a 19% increase from the previous year.
- The New Year period of 2023 will be relatively problem-free for the first time since 2019. The last quarter of the year is expected to have a large number of releases, and supply chains have normalized.
- PlayStation 5, since resolving supply issues, is the market leader in the USA. Circana analysts anticipate that the console will maintain its dominant position until at least 2025.
- Currently, PS5 is selling 5% better than PS4 and 87% better than PS3 in the USA.
- However, the Xbox Series lags behind the Xbox One by 10% but outperforms the Xbox 360 by 6%.
- Nintendo Switch has surpassed the sales of Nintendo Wii in the USA. The total sales of the system in the USA now trail only Xbox 360 (by less than 1 million units) and PS2 (by less than 5 million units).
- Households with an annual income exceeding $100,000 constitute the main consumers of gaming consoles (40% of all sales). Meanwhile, the share of households with an annual income of less than $50,000 has decreased by 9 percentage points since 2020, down to 31%.
- The growth in digital game purchases is the primary driver of revenue growth from content in the USA. Sales of new blockbusters have overshadowed the decline in the mobile market and in-game content volume.
- User spending on subscriptions in the USA has plateaued since November 2021. Perhaps that's why Sony decided to omit PS Plus audience information from the latest report.
- The share of portable PC gaming is growing thanks to Steam Deck and ASUS ROG Ally.
- The most common accessories are headphones and gamepads.
- In 2023, headphone sales in the USA increased by 2% compared to 2022.
- The number of reviews on Steam games is increasing every year. In 2013, there were 93 copies sold per review, while in 2023, there were 32 copies sold per review.
- The more discounts, the fewer reviews. Up to an average discount size of 20%, there is no correlation (on average, 1 review per 34-35 copies). However, once the average discount size increases to 30% and higher, there are between 40 to 57 copies sold per review.
- Games with negative (up to 50% positive) reviews receive a lot of reviews - 24-39 sales per review. Games with a very high (close to 100%) number of positive reviews result in 25 copies sold per review. This is apparently because people either want to share their dissatisfaction or tell others about the wonderful game they played.
- The more a person plays a game, the higher the probability that they will leave a review.
- For niche games (up to 100 reviews) and hits (100,000 reviews and more), there is roughly the same conversion to reviews (1 review per 36-38 copies).
- The looter shooter was released on July 13th. However, both AppMagic and data.ai only "saw" 21-22 million downloads. Apparently, not all registered users proceeded to install the game.
- Tencent refers to Arena Breakout as one of the most successful novelties in its history. The game reached the top of download charts in over 100 countries on the day of its release.
- According to AppMagic's data, the game has currently generated $50.5 million in revenue. 95% of the total revenue comes from China.
- The total gaming market will reach $194 billion by the end of the year.
- Mobile gaming will account for 56% of the total gaming revenue for the year, with consoles at 22%, and PCs at 21%. Portable systems like the Nintendo Switch Lite and Steam Deck make up the remaining 1%.
- The mobile gaming market is expected to decline by the end of 2023, but analysts from data.ai and IDC believe that a new growth phase will follow in the coming year.
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- The console gaming market is projected to grow by 3% to $43 billion in 2023, driven by increased sales of the PS5 and Xbox Series.
- The PC gaming market is expected to grow by 4% to $40 billion, largely due to subscription revenue growth.
- However, the portable console segment is expected to plummet by 20%, primarily due to reduced demand for the Nintendo Switch Lite.
- In the APAC region, there is growth in the mobile, console, and PC segments, making it the only market showing growth.
- Racing simulators (+0.3 percentage points), sports simulators (+0.2 percentage points), and arcade racers (+0.3 percentage points) have seen increased downloads in the first half of 2023.
- Team Battle RPGs (+0.7 percentage points), thanks to Honkai: Star Rail, as well as Match 3 (+0.9 percentage points) and MOBA (+0.7 percentage points), have seen revenue growth.
- In 2023, mobile devices will make up 26% of the cloud gaming market, up from 19% in 2019.
- The total revenue of cloud gaming services is projected to reach $3.8 billion in 2023, with a growth rate of over 50% compared to 2022.
- The Monthly Active Users (MAU) for cloud gaming services is expected to reach 60 million this year.
- Nintendo Switch Lite shipments worldwide exceeded 21 million in the first quarter of 2023.
- Steam Deck shipments in the same quarter reached 2 million devices.
- 55% of Nintendo Switch Lite owners are female, while the majority of Steam Deck owners are male (73%). 48% of Nintendo Switch owners are over 35 years old, compared to 83% of Steam Deck owners.
Top Mobile Games of 2023
- data.ai highlights Monopoly GO, Honkai: Star Rail, Royal Match, and FIFA Soccer as the top mobile games of 2023.
Mobile Advertising Trends
- Match-3 games (66.7%), casino games (66.6%), and board games (61.2%) have the highest percentage of paid installations.
- Video advertising is the most popular ad format, with 79% of ad creatives in action games being playable.
- Users in the United States, in general, have become more negative towards advertising, with a decrease in satisfaction with all advertising formats.
The research was shared by Dr. Serkan Toto, the founder of the consulting firm Kantan Games.
- In 2022, the Japanese gaming market grew by 1.4%, reaching 2.03 trillion yen. At the current exchange rate, this is approximately $13.9 billion, although the Japanese yen has significantly depreciated in value recently.
- According to Kadokawa ASCII, the global market fell by 7% in 2022.
Results by segments in 2022
- Sales of gaming hardware increased by 3.4%, reaching $1.4 billion.
- Sales of console games grew by 5.9%, reaching $2.7 billion.
- PC gaming is rapidly gaining popularity in Japan. In 2022, it grew by 43%, from $0.9 billion to $1.3 billion.
- However, the mobile market, which is the largest in the country, declined by 4.4%. In 2022, its revenue amounted to $8.5 billion.
- Diablo IV is also the revenue leader in the USA and the UK on PC and consoles.
- The game ranks 9th in MAU among all PC games and 15th in the same metric on consoles.
- The USA, Germany, and South Korea are key markets for Diablo IV in terms of MAU.
- In July 2023, one in every ten gamers on PC and consoles played Diablo IV. On average, a player spent 42 hours in the game, ranking it 21st in the market.
- The game secured the 10th spot in Twitch views, with 28.7 million hours of views.
The company analyzed advertising networks and countries that surpassed the 25 million installations mark in the past six months.
- Average eCPM on Android dropped by 26% compared to the second half of 2022. On iOS, the decline was 12%.
- In the first half of 2023, IAP (in-app purchases) grew by 23% on Android and 24% on iOS compared to the second half of 2022.
- India, Brazil, the United States, Indonesia, and Mexico are the leaders in total downloads over the past year on Android. On iOS, China and Saudi Arabia dropped out of the ranking in the first quarter of 2023, while Canada and Germany appeared. The USA is in the first place, the UK rose to second, and Japan is in the third position.
- Google Ads, AppLovin, Mintegral, Meta, and ironSource are the leaders in installations on Android. AppLovin, Mintegral, ironSource, Meta, and Google Ads - in that order - are leading on iOS in the first half of 2023.
- AppMagic shows that as of today, the game has earned $104.3 million.
- The majority of the revenue comes from the United States ($64.3 million), South Korea ($4.1 million), and Canada ($3.5 million).
- Since its release, the game has been downloaded 22.7 million times. 24% of all installations are from the United States, 11% from Brazil, and 8% from Indonesia.
- No other mobile card game has earned more in 2023. From January 1 to August 29, the game earned $73 million.
- Among other genre leaders are Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel ($33.4 million), Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links ($21.8 million), Magic: The Gathering Arena ($19.6 million), and Hearthstone ($18.6 million). All figures are from the beginning of the year.
- The developers of Marvel Snap have been actively working on monetization since the game's release. After its launch, many gaming industry professionals noted that the game had a "soft" monetization strategy. There is a good article on this topic by Deconstructor of Fun.
- One of the best GDC performances is also dedicated to Marvel Snap. In it, Ben Brode (founder of Second Dinner) talks about the game's design decisions. You can watch it here.
- Bethesda announced this milestone just one day after the full launch. It's the largest release in the company's history.
❗️ The number of players does not equal the number of copies sold. The game was available for free to Game Pass users from day one.
- PlayTracker reports that more than 2 million copies of the premium editions of Starfield were purchased.
- Phil Spencer stated that over a million users were playing Starfield simultaneously at release. On Steam, the game reached a peak online player count of 269.1 thousand on the day of release.
- Starfield's peak online player count on Steam occurred on Sunday, September 10th, with 330.7 thousand people playing simultaneously. Only Fallout 4 had more - 472.9 thousand people.
- During the same period, users downloaded 50 billion apps.
- Sensor Tower has once again revised its classification of puzzle game genres, among which the Swap subgenre took first place in terms of downloads (over 8 billion) and revenue (over $25 billion). This subgenre mainly includes Match-3 games.
- Among the fastest-growing puzzle subgenres is Real-Time. The most successful games in this subcategory are Tetris (11 million downloads; $231 thousand in revenue) and Traffic Jam Fever (10 million downloads; $212 thousand in revenue).
Hybrid Casual Puzzles
- Sensor Tower notes that hybrid casual puzzles saw a revenue growth of 429.67% YoY in the first 5 months of 2023. The analytical platform includes games like Triple Match 3D, Match 3D, Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles, and others in this category.
- Among the best representatives of hybrid casual games, D1 Retention ranges from 39% to 45%; D11 Retention is around 15% (Triple Match 3D has 20%); D41 Retention is around 5-10% (Triple Match 3D has 13%).
Revenue by Countries
- In the United States and Europe, there is a diverse set of subgenres contributing to revenue. Despite the dominance of the Swap category, there is substantial revenue from Blast, Merge, Word, Hidden Object, and other subgenres.
- In China, 83% of the revenue comes from the Swap subgenre, with Merge in second place at 9%.
- In Japan, there are two clear leaders: the Swap subgenre (53%) and Chain (27%).
The data for the report was collected using GSD, Gametrack, and EGDF-VGE reports.
- The volume of the European gaming industry in 2022 amounted to $24.5 billion, which is 5% more than in 2021.
- 42% of the revenue came from consoles (compared to 41% the previous year); 42% from mobile devices (compared to 45% the previous year); 13% from PCs (same as the previous year); 3% from streaming services (compared to 2% the previous year).
- Online game sales accounted for 41.5% of total revenue (compared to 36% the previous year); 41.5% from in-game mobile purchases (compared to 45% the previous year); 17% from physical game sales (compared to 19% the last year).
- 110,000 people work in gaming companies in Europe, representing a 12% increase from the previous year. 23.7% of employees are women.
- 53% of the European population plays games. In 2022, the number of gamers reached 126.5 million.
- The largest group of gamers (25%) in Europe falls in the age range of 45 to 64 years. Following that are the age groups of 15 to 24 years (21%); 25 to 34 years (19%); 6 to 14 years (18%); and 35 to 44 years (17%).
- The average age of a European gamer is 32 years.
- 68% of Europeans play on mobile devices (compared to 63% in 2021); 58% on consoles (compared to 54% in 2021); 48% on PC (compared to 52% in 2021).
- 1.75 million games were sold in the UK in August. This is 2.2% less than last year.
- FIFA 23 was the best-selling game of the month, with the Nintendo Switch version contributing significantly thanks to discounts.
❗️In reality, Baldur’s Gate III is likely the top-selling game. The issue is that the company does not share sales data with GSD, so the results are not reflected in the overall chart. Therefore, another game may be the leader, and the month may show growth.
- Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon debuted at the second spot on the British chart. This is a record for the series.
- The original Red Dead Redemption returned to the top 10, taking the 5th spot on the chart. Red Dead Redemption II is in 4th place, GTA 5 is in 3rd place, and GTA Online (a separate version) is in 7th place.
- Quake II returned to the charts after 26 years. The game took the 12th place in sales, but in reality, it could have been higher - sales on the Nintendo Switch are not included.
- In August, 135,000 consoles were sold in the country. This is 22% more than in July and 8% more than in August of the previous year.
- Sales of the PlayStation 5 increased by 42% compared to the previous month, aided by discounts and bundles. Sony's console is currently selling 60% better than in the same period last year.
- Nintendo Switch saw a 5% decrease in sales in August compared to the previous month and a 10% decrease compared to the previous August.
- Xbox Series S|X saw a 7% increase in sales compared to July. However, the overall sales of the system are currently 23% worse than in the same period last year.
- From January to August 2023, the Japanese mobile gaming market earned more than $9 billion, and it is expected to reach $14 billion in revenue by the end of the year.
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- Japan has the highest RPD (Revenue Per Download) in the world. The average revenue per user in Japan is $21, significantly higher than in the United States.
- In 2020, the number of mobile game installations reached 800 million. Since then, this figure has been decreasing. In 2023, a return to growth is finally expected, with Japanese users installing games 620 million times by the end of the year.
- 2021 was a record year for mobile revenue in Japan, with $17.8 billion earned solely from in-game purchases. In 2023, a reversal of the negative trend is expected, as mentioned earlier, with $14 billion in revenue.
- RPG (Role-Playing Games) is the most profitable genre in Japan, accounting for 48% of all mobile revenue (approximately $4.3 billion this year).
- Strategy games come in second place, earning more than $1 billion during the same period.
- Traditionally, Japanese developers achieve the best results in their domestic market, but Chinese and Korean developers are gradually gaining market share. The leader is the Chinese company miHoYo with Honkai Impact: Star Rail.
- Bandai Namco is the most successful mobile developer from Japan in foreign markets. From January to August 2023, they earned over $250 million from just two games - Dragon Ball Legends and Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle.
Sensor Tower: Royal Match has surpassed Candy Crush Saga in revenue and downloads for the first time in history
- This significant event occurred in July 2023. Royal Match earned $112 million and received 14.6 million installations, while Candy Crush Saga earned $104 million and received 14.4 million installations.
- It took Royal Match two and a half years to achieve these results.
- 61.5% of Royal Match installations are paid, while the percentage of paid installations for Candy Crush Saga ranges from 15.4% to 25% at its peak.
- Analysts at Sensor Tower attribute Royal Match's success to aggressive Live Ops. The game now receives 200 new levels every month.
- However, Candy Crush Saga still leads in terms of Daily Active Users (DAU) with 18 million users, while Royal Match has 15 million. Nevertheless, if the current trend continues, Royal Match is expected to reach this milestone by the end of October.
Ampere Analysis: The release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse boosted the MAU of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales by 77%
- The MAU for the base game, Marvel's Spider-Man, increased by 34%.
- The peak in Daily Active Users (DAU) occurred during the first two weeks following the release of the animated film. It began to rise one week before the release.
- However, the surge in interest in the games could also be related to the upcoming release of Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Sony had just released a new trailer at the end of May.
- Overall console sales increased by 90% when comparing the first half of 2023 to the first half of 2022.
- PlayStation 5 stood out the most, with its sales in the country tripling.
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- Xbox Series sales decreased, while Nintendo Switch sales saw a slight increase.
- Sales of gaming laptops (-13% YoY) and desktop computers (-20% YoY) declined. Analysts, however, believe that these categories will start growing again in the next couple of years as the hardware purchased during the pandemic will require upgrading.
- Physical game copy sales in Germany in the first half of 2023 increased by 2% compared to the previous year. Top-selling titles included The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Hogwarts Legacy, and FIFA 23.
- Stumble Guys introduced a new currency - shards - through which players can obtain cosmetic skins. They can be earned for free, but to get rare skins, you'll need to spend on in-app purchases (IAP).
- Diablo Immortal hosted the Wild Brawl event from August 9th to 22nd. It's a 24-player battle royale (6 teams of 4 players).
- Blizzard soft-launched Warcraft Rumble in the United States.
- In August, Umamusume Pretty Derby celebrated its 2.5-year anniversary in Japan, with revenue during the event increasing by 1000%. In September, the game was removed from Chinese app stores due to either promoting gambling (unofficial version) or technical issues (official version).
- The survival shooter Undawn (黎明觉醒) has new updates to return the performance in China, with five new professions added to the game.
- The American gaming industry earned $4.2 billion last month.
- The growth was driven by content sales (+4% YoY) and accessories (+12% YoY). However, hardware sales decreased by 13% YoY. Nevertheless, this trend is positive, as the decline in July was 19%.
- Madden NFL 24, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, and Remnant II were the best-selling games in the US market in August 2023.
- Mobile market revenue increased by 2.5% YoY. Monopoly GO took the first place, surpassing Royal Match.
- Playrix is the only publisher in August with two games in the top 10 mobile games chart.
- PlayStation 5 remains the best-selling console in the USA both in terms of the number of systems and dollar sales. Xbox Series S|X came in second place.
- In 2022, there were 1.1 billion PC gamers and 611 million console gamers worldwide.
- The revenue from PC and console segments in 2022 amounted to $92.3 billion, which is 2.2% lower than in 2021.
- According to Newzoo, by the end of 2022, 172.1 million Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series S|X units were sold. In 2023, this number will increase to 212.9 million, mainly due to the PS5.
- The console segment accounts for $51.8 billion in revenue (56.2% of the total), PC games account for $38.2 billion (41.3%), and browser-based PC games make up $2.3 billion (2.5%). They have always been categorized separately.
- In 2022, only the PC segment grew by 1.8%. The console segment declined by 4.2%, and browser games on PC decreased by 16.7% year-on-year.
- From 2015 to 2022, the PC and console market grew at an average annual growth rate of 5.8%. During this period, the console segment outpaced PC growth by two times (+7.8% CAGR vs. +3.6% CAGR).
- North America was the largest region for PCs and consoles in 2022, accounting for $31.2 billion in revenue (34% of the total). The Asia-Pacific region was slightly behind, with revenue of $30.2 billion (33%). Europe followed with $24.3 billion (26%), Latin America with $4.2 billion (5%), and the MENA region with $2.5 billion (3%).
- The United States ($29 billion) and China ($15.2 billion) are the leading markets for PC and consoles. Among the regions, MENA (+2.9% YoY) and Latin America (+0.7% YoY) showed growth.
- Gamers spent over 100 billion hours on PC/console games in 2022.
- On average, a player's lifetime value (LTV) in the USA on PC or consoles is over $200.
- Microtransactions account for 31-32% of all revenue on PC and consoles. The share of DLC revenue on consoles is higher (13% vs. 7% on PC).
- Fortnite had the highest average Monthly Active Users (MAU) on Xbox and PlayStation in 2022. On PC, it was only surpassed by ROBLOX and Warzone 2.0 (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II).
- Adventure games are the most extensive genre (83% of players) on PC and consoles, but players spend only 12% of their time on these games. Shooter games (20%) and Battle Royale games (17%) lead in playtime, reaching 77% and 74% of the audience, respectively.
- 13 out of the 20 most popular games on PC and consoles are Free-to-Play (F2P). Three games (Overwatch 2, Fall Guys, and The Sims 4) transitioned to this model in 2022.
- The game is positioned behind Hogwarts Legacy, Diablo IV, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
- In the case of Starfield, not only the sales of the launch week were taken into account, but also several additional days of sales of the Premium edition. However, download data from Game Pass did not make it into the ranking.
- Starfield has already become the largest launch on Xbox in this generation. The previous record belonged to Forza Horizon 5.
TIGA: The number of employees in gaming companies in the United Kingdom increased by 15.2% in 16 months
- The number of employees grew from 20,975 people in December 2021 to 24,155 people in April 2023. The total number of individuals involved in the gaming industry workforce has increased to 25,026 - this figure includes freelancers.
- The number of studios in the United Kingdom during the same period increased by 17.8% - from 1,528 to 1,801.
- 22.4% of all employed individuals in British companies are located in London.
- The annual contribution of gaming companies to the UK economy increased from £2.9 billion in 2021 to £3.68 billion in 2023.
- In the last 12 months, the game has earned $86.3 million. $40 million came from the United States and $16.7 million from South Korea.
- The game has joined 39 other games and 12 applications that have surpassed this milestone.
- Brawl Stars, which was soft-launched in June 2017, is the most successful mobile Brawl game in history.
❗️In December 2022, Supercell changed the monetization in the game by removing loot boxes. As a result, the project's revenue continued to decline. More details can be found in the material from Deconstructor of Fun. The overall decline in revenue (as seen by analytical services) may also be related to a shift of some payments to the web store and the departure from Russia.
Brawl Stars WW revenue data from AppMagic. You can see that revenue started to decline from mid-2021.
- In the last 12 months, the game has been downloaded 37 million times. Brazil, Turkey, and the United States contributed the most. In total, the game has been downloaded 376 million times.
Internal correspondence from Microsoft has leaked online, discussing the addition of games to the Xbox Game Pass library and providing approximate figures that developers would require.
- Microsoft expected the highest demand from EA for Star Wars Jedi Survivor - $300 million. Microsoft representatives referred to the deal as "beautiful but economically impractical."
- According to Microsoft, Ubisoft would request $100 million for Assassin's Creed Mirage on its release day.
List of games Microsoft was considering to acquire for Game Pass.
- It was anticipated that the developer of Dying Light 2 would request $50 million. However, Microsoft had doubts that the developers would be able to release the game on time.
- The inclusion of GTA V in Game Pass was estimated by the American platform holder at $12-15 million per month. But there was uncertainty about whether Rockstar would agree to keep the game in the subscription for more than 3-4 months.
- As for the recent hit Baldur's Gate III, Microsoft "valued" it at $5 million. And the assessment by management was not the highest.
GSD reports only on actual sales figures obtained directly from partners. Major publishers like Nintendo do not share sales data for digital copies, for example.
- 10.7 million games were sold in Europe in August of this year. This is 29% more than the previous year, excluding the sales of Baldur’s Gate III.
- The top-selling game was FIFA 23, with a significant portion of sales coming from Nintendo Switch. Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) came in second place (sales increased by 40% YoY), and Hogwarts Legacy ranked third.
- Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon was the most successful new release of the month, reaching the 4th position in the chart.
Consoles and Accessories
- Console sales in Europe (excluding the UK and Germany) increased by 67% compared to the previous August.
- PlayStation 5 sales in August 2023 increased by 197% YoY, indicating that Sony has fully normalized its supply chains.
- Nintendo Switch sales dropped slightly, by only 1% compared to August of the previous year.
- However, Xbox Series S|X sales in Europe declined by 12%. We are waiting for the September results to determine if the launch of Starfield had an impact on sales.
- Accessory sales in August increased by 36% compared to the previous year. DualSense controllers were the top-selling accessory, with a growth rate of 170%.
For the calculation, Naavik used revenue results from analytical platforms and revenue coefficients from Genshin Impact in China and on PC.
- Honkai: Star Rail's revenue outside of China as of the end of August reached $299.9 million.
- In China, the game earned $516.6 million on mobile devices.
- Naavik specialists estimate Honkai: Star Rail's PC revenue at $272.7 million worldwide.
- The game is soon to be released on PlayStation 5, which is expected to boost revenue.
💬 David Jiang, the producer of Honkai: Star Rail, noted that miHoYo plans to support the game for at least another 6 years. The largest updates will be the "Worlds," and each of them takes approximately a year to develop.
- Naavik analysts note that Honkai: Star Rail is cannibalizing Genshin Impact's revenue. Currently, miHoYo's total revenue is only slightly higher than it was before the release of Honkai: Star Rail. Users also spend 20% less time (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan) to 34% less time (China, USA) in Genshin Impact.
Store revenue & RPD for Genshin Impact & Honkai: Star Rail
- One of the key issues is that Honkai: Star Rail's revenue per download (RPD) is not only lower than Genshin Impact but also lower than competitors like RAID: Shadow Legends, Marvel Strike Force, and others. This means that miHoYo has attracted a portion of the Genshin Impact audience to a project that monetizes less effectively.
- Naavik believes that the monetization issues with Honkai: Star Rail are linked to a more lenient gacha system and a lack of content for high-level users.
- The figure includes both players who purchased Starfield and those who obtained it through Gamepass.
- Bethesda has called Starfield the largest launch in its history.
We continue to examine Microsoft's leak. The leaked data is dated 2022.
- 74.8% of the Xbox Series audience bought the lower-end console, Xbox Series S.
- This means that the audience for the Xbox Series X is 25.2%.
- In July of this year, Microsoft reported 21 million consoles sold. If the distribution has remained the same, Xbox Series X sales now are around 5-6 million.
❗️ If this figure is correct, the sales gap between PS5 and Xbox Series is becoming even more substantial. The gaming consumption model for Xbox Series S players differs from that of "core gamers" who purchase PS5 and Xbox Series X. They buy new releases less often, and use discounts and subscriptions more frequently.
- In 2023, the Indian gaming market is projected to reach $868 million, excluding real-money gaming. By 2027, it is forecasted to grow to $1.581 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 17.2%.
❗️ In 2022, Newzoo estimated the Indian gaming market at $2.2 billion, including real-money gaming.
- This is the fastest-growing major gaming market in Asia. It is expected that the number of gamers in the country will increase by 343% from 2017 to 2027, reaching 641.2 million. In comparison, China's audience growth during a similar period will be 21%.
- Currently, there are 444.4 million gamers in India.
- 96.8% of Indian gamers play on mobile devices.
- 31% of users make in-game purchases.
- 71.8% of Indian gamers engage with esports, either by participating in competitive gaming disciplines, watching tournaments, or taking part in competitions themselves.
- The growth in income, internet penetration, and smartphone adoption (even in the lower-priced categories) are the main drivers of this growth.
- Honor of Kings continues to lead. In August of this year, the game earned $122.8 million, with the entire sum coming from China.
- Monopoly GO continues to storm the sales charts. The game earned $79.7 million in August, which is 39% more than the previous month.
- Genshin Impact dropped out of the top 10 in terms of revenue, but Honkai: Star Rail rose to the 5th spot.
- The August download chart features 6 new games. Tic Tac Toe - 2 Player XO climbed the highest, with 16 million downloads. It's a collection of minimalist games (including tic-tac-toe) that you can play with friends.
- My Perfect Hotel by SayGames entered the top 10 for the first time (the game has 13.4 million downloads). It's a hotel management simulator. Until August 2023, downloads were averaging 2-5 million per month.
- The game surpassed the 3 million copies sold mark just a few weeks after its release in February 2021. In April 2022, the studio reported 10 million copies sold.
- Embracer Group also noted sales of Deep Rock Galactic - they exceeded 7 million.
Sensor Tower's classification regarding this genre is extensive. Simulation games include such titles as Roblox, Township, and Frozen City.
- From January to July 2023, Simulation games earned $2.7 billion. 43% of this revenue came from the US market.
- Annual downloads of Simulation games settled at 6.8 billion after the pandemic.
- Annual revenue reached its peak in 2021 ($4.9 billion). By the end of 2022, it dropped to $4.5 billion. At the end of this year, the results are 72% ahead of pre-pandemic 2019 figures.
- The USA is the key market for Simulation games, accounting for 43% of total revenue. Europe follows with 23%.
- The highest-earning subgenre of Simulation games is tycoons/farms. From January to July 2023, this subgenre earned $1.3 billion, half of the total revenue.
- In second place are sandboxes, with $700 million in revenue for the same period. Roblox is the leader in this category and in revenue among all simulation games.
- Sensor Tower also notes Burger Please! - a game from the Koreans at Supercent, which received over 40 million downloads from January to July 2023.
- On September 20th, the peak number of users was 21,307, but by September 24th, there were already 169,711 players in the Steam version of the game.
- In addition to update 2.0, the DLC Phantom Liberty will be released today, which received 88 points on Metacritic.
- The peak online for Cyberpunk 2077 occurred 3 years ago - at its release. At that time, the game had 1.054 million simultaneous players.
- Honor of Kings is the revenue leader in August 2023. The game earned $238 million on iOS & Android.
- PUBG Mobile takes second place with $140 million (including Game for Peace). 50% of this amount came from Chinese iOS. The American market accounted for 10.4% of the revenue, and the Indian market for 7.1%.
- Honkai: Star Rail occupies the third spot. 41.1% of the total revenue came from China (iOS); 25.1% from Japan; 11.9% from the USA.
- In total, users spent $6.59 billion on mobile games in August 2023, the same as in August 2022.
- The USA is the largest mobile market by revenue ($1.9 billion - 28.5% of global revenue). China accounts for 20% (iOS only), and Japan for 17.1%.
- Garena Free Fire - the most downloaded game in August, with 22 million installations. India generated 31.4% of this number. Vietnam accounted for 8.9%, and Brazil for 8.6%.
- Subway Surfers continues to actively grow its audience; the game was downloaded 19 million times in August. India accounted for 19.4% of the downloads, Brazil for 9.4%, and the USA for 6.7%.
- The total number of downloads in August 2023 decreased by 2% compared to the previous year, reaching 4.54 billion installations.
- India leads in downloads (778 million - 17.1% of the total). Brazil follows with 8.7%, and the USA with 7.9%.
- On average, one Nintendo Switch user spends $19 per year on DLC.
- On PlayStation platforms, the revenue is significantly higher - $83 per year. On Xbox - $79 per year.
❗️ The producer of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom stated in an interview with Famitsu that the company currently has no plans to release additional content for the game.
- 400 people worked on the DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 39% of the original development team.
- The survey was conducted from March to June 2023. It involved 1,610 respondents from 78 countries. All salaries are gross annual earnings in euros, and all figures are median values.
The company employs two classifications: Europe (EU + UK + CH), which includes countries within the European Union along with the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and Europe (non-EU), which includes countries outside the European Union (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine).
- Junior-level specialists in Europe (EU + UK + CH) earn annual salaries ranging from 19,817 to 24,758 euros. In countries outside the European Union, the salary range is significantly lower, from 7,740 to 12,500 euros. These figures represent yearly salaries.
- The median salary for mid-level specialists in European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland ranges from 16,080 to 36,900 euros per year. QA/testers are paid the least, while analysts receive the highest salaries.
- Outside the European Union, the median salary range is between 16,800 and 29,000 euros per year. Interestingly, QA/testers are paid more in these countries.
- On average, median salaries in non-EU countries are 5-30% lower.
- Salaries in European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland range from 46,000 to 75,600 euros. The median salary for top management is 84,000 euros per year.
- In European countries outside the EU, median salaries range from 30,000 to 62,568 euros, with top managers earning 66,000 euros per year.
Financial Bonuses from Companies
- The most common bonuses include paid sick leave, annual bonuses, and paid parental leave.
- 23% of companies in the EU (including the UK and Switzerland) do not offer any bonuses, while 29% of European companies outside the EU do not provide bonuses.
- Only 12-13% of companies in the gaming industry pay for overtime.
Non-Financial Bonuses from Companies
- Top non-financial bonuses include health insurance, corporate events, payment for foreign language learning, sports facility access (or an in-office gym), and relocation support.
- In every tenth company, there are no non-financial bonuses at all.
- The highest job satisfaction is reported among employees in service or product companies. The lowest job satisfaction is reported among indie developers and publishers.
- Employees who work overtime 1-2 times per month are the most satisfied, while those who consistently work overtime (more than 2 times per week) are the least satisfied.
- Employees at companies with 501 to 1000 employees are the most satisfied, while those in small teams (11 to 50 employees) are the least satisfied.
- Hybrid work arrangements are most popular among employees.
- There is greater job satisfaction among those working in hardcore, mid-core, and casual game genres. The least job satisfaction is among developers of kids’ games.
- Analysts from Values Value and InGameJob noted that gender inequality persists in the gaming industry, with men, on average, earning more than women.
- Approximately one-third of employees use AI in their work. The highest adoption of artificial intelligence is in marketing/user acquisition (UA) and publishing.
- Baldur's Gate III earned the most on PC and consoles in the markets of the USA and the UK.
- Baldur's Gate III is the leader among all RPGs in terms of both views and MAU on PC.
- When considering all genres, Baldur's Gate III ranks 13th in MAU on PC.
- 13.8% of the entire audience of PC played the game, and on average, they played for 30 hours.
- The USA, Russia, and the UK are the leaders in MAU for the game. This is surprising given that Russia has a limited set of payment methods left on Steam.
- The audience of Baldur's Gate III also played Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, Remnant II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and BattleBit Remastered in August.
- The record-breaking growth phase in Twitch viewership over the past 4 years has come to an end. In August, the number of viewed hours decreased.
- This may be related to a decrease in viewership for Grand Theft Auto V (-26% in hours - 103 million) and League of Legends (-14% in hours - 93 million).
- Baldur's Gate III had a significant launch on Twitch. Users watched 45 million hours of content in a month. The role-playing RPG outperformed Minecraft, Escape from Tarkov, Fortnite, and DOTA II in terms of views. This is a phenomenon. However, Diablo IV had higher numbers at its launch.
- Views of Escape from Tarkov increased by 233% after the release of the latest update and wipe. Yes, developers reset the progress of all players.
- The game was released in 2012. Initially, it was available on the King website, then it was launched on Facebook, and eventually made its way to mobile devices.
- The game has been downloaded more than 5 billion times on all platforms.
- The game earned $55 million within 35 days of launching in China.
- The game's total revenue since its release in October 2016 is $600 million.
- Currently, 37.7% of the revenue comes from South Korea; 13.6% from the United States; 13.5% from Taiwan; and 9.5% from Japan. China's share has already reached 9.1%.
- However, if measured from the moment of release in China, the country's revenue share is 87.9%.
- Maple Story M reached second in revenue among all MMORPGs in August 2023.
Factors of Success
- The Maple Story brand has been well-known in China since the release of the original online game in 2004.
- Collaboration with local publishers for proper localization and local events.
- Updates and operations: Shortly after its release in China, the game received a significant update, increasing daily revenue by 29%. Developers also launched a special event in the first month, boosting revenue by 30%.
- During the first weekend after its release, the CCU for the game on all platforms reached 218,000. According to SteamDB, Steam accounted for 78,000 of those players.
- The project's peak daily active users (DAU) across all platforms reached 1.35 million players.
- However, within a week, the CCU on Steam dropped by three times, reaching 28,100.
❗️ The most concerning issue for Starbreeze Studios lies elsewhere. The game on Steam currently has only 35.91% positive reviews. Users are complaining about the lack of content, bugs, the absence of features from the previous game, server problems, and poor optimization. These issues are likely to be observed on all platforms.
- The declining interest in the project is also reflected on Twitch. The game has lost ten times the number of viewers compared to its release (from 90,000 at launch to 11,400 in the last 24 hours).
- According to VG Insights estimates, the game has been purchased by more than 1.07 million people on Steam.
- The game not only achieved the best sales during its first week but also boasts the highest ratings. The game has a score of 76 on Metacritic.
- Over 40 million people have played games in the series since 2014. In July of this year, the franchise set a record for MAU, five years after the release of The Crew 2.
Tune in next month for more updates!