Frontline Marketing

Interactive Entertainment In 2016: The Good, The Growing And The Games

By | December 22, 2016 |

2016 was a great year to be a video game publisher, especially if your game was Pokémon GO or Overwatch. The interactive entertainment industry generated $91 billion in revenues through video games, eSports and gaming video content, according to a new report by analyst firm, SuperData. Let’s take a look back at a year of gaming filled with new tech, breakout hits and the consumer trends that will shape this industry over the coming years.

The Good . . .

At $41 billion, mobile games were by far the most lucrative form of interactive entertainment this year, surpassing retail games and free-to-play online games by $26 billion and $19 billion, respectively. With the addition of eSports and gaming video content into its revenue stream, the interactive entertainment industry is poised to have a very nice 2017.

Subsequently, the mobile games market “has started to mature,” SuperData noted, “and now more closely resembles traditional games publishing—requiring ever higher production values and marketing spend.” Gamers are downloading a lot more titles directly to their consoles, spending $6.6 billion in 2016. Digital spending is good news, according to SuperData, because it allows publishers to generate revenue through the sales of add-on content, expansion packs and microtransactions.

PC gaming earned a cool $34 billion, driven largely by free-to-play online titles and downloadable games. With the release of a new generation of graphics cards, gamers were able to enjoy a 40 percent increase in graphics power and a 20 percent reduction of power consumption, SuperData commented.

Bringing in $1.3 billion, Monster Strike was the top mobile game for 2016.
Bringing in a monstrous $1.3 billion, Monster Strike was the top mobile game for 2016.

. . . The Growing

A lot of VR tech was launched in 2016, but its first year was “sobering,” SuperData said. The analytics firm cites a high price point, the absence of a strong content line-up and difficulties with properly delivering through retail as issues that cooled consumers’ expectations of the Oculus as reasons for the underwhelming consumer response. “We expect firms with more experience in hardware manufacturing like Sony and HTC to take the lead in 2017.”

Compared to other revenue streams, eSports is relatively small at $892 million in 2016. Despite this, the competitive arena for video games is a hot spot for investors, publishers, TV executives and advertisers. “A string of investments in pursuit of connecting to a new generation of media consumers has built the segment’s momentum,” SuperData observed, “as major publishers like Activision, Riot Games, and Electronic Arts are exploring new revenue streams like selling media rights in 2017.”

. . . And The Games

The Top 5 Earning Video Game Titles Of 2016 Are:

Mobile:

  1. Monster Strike
  2. Clash of Clans
  3. Clash Royale
  4. Game of War: Fire Age
  5. Mobile Strike

Despite launching mid-year, Niantic’s Pokémon GO came in just under the top 5 games.

Free-to-Play PC:

  1. League of Legends
  2. Dungeon Fighter Challenge
  3. Crossfire
  4. World of Tanks
  5. Dota 2

Premium PC:

  1. Overwatch
  2. CS:GO
  3. Guild Wars 2
  4. Minecraft
  5. Fallout 4

Console:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  2. FIFA 16
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Tom Clancy’s The Division
  5. Destiny