Free-to-play games are quite addictive, enabling players to get the most out of their game while paying a minimal amount for premium items or other goodies to enhance their players. And they’re certainly picking up in popularity, according to a new report from Newzoo. The full report can be found below.
In July, the Top 20 Core PC Games notably saw the success of F2P titles. The two that saw the biggest gains in July are games that emphasize user experimentation and modification: Valve’s Garry’s Mod and Team Fortress 2. Garry’s Mod climbed four spots to #9, while Team Fortress 2 soared eight places to #10, possibly pushed by a major (“Gun Mettle”) update at the beginning of July. Meanwhile, Trion Worlds’ F2P voxel MMORPG Trove entered the top PC games at #12.
The two titles that gained the most positive traction in July were community favorites. Garry’s Mod climbed four spots and Team Fortress 2 gained eight places to #9 and #10 respectively. These titles, both F2P, exemplify what we term the prosumer transformation, with inbuilt design decisions to allow user modification, content sharing, video streaming and (in the case of Team Fortress 2) gamer profit with the sale of user-created items in the Steam Workshop.
Cheap Block Magic
New at #8, Re-Logic’s Terraria encompasses what’s currently hot in the games industry. First, it’s an indie title created by a very small team that is vocal with its passionate community. Secondly, it features a 2D procedurally generated voxel environment similar to Minecraft. Thirdly, it’s cheap, a fraction of the price of most major studio titles. With almost 90,000 positive reviews on Steam and a legion of devoted fans and Twitch streamers, Terraria epitomizes the trends Newzoo and Overwolf have pointed out over the past year.
Trion Worlds’ Trove (new at #12) is a voxel MMORPG set in a massive universe of online worlds with a similar gameplay to Minecraft. Featuring everything MMOs are expected to contain, from dungeons and loot to building homes and crafting, it marries RPG tropes to the creative flexibility of voxel world building and wraps it into an irresistible F2P package.
F2P MMO Success
The MMORPG scene is in a state of flux. Despite its one spot gain in July, World of Warcraft reported its subscriber numbers fell to 7.1 million at the end of Q1 this year, the largest drop in the title’s history. The success of NCSoft’s B2P Guild Wars 2 (#7) and the change from subscription to F2P (and subsequent success) of EA’s Star Wars:
The Old Republic (#16) are strong evidence for the end of the subscription model as the default for an MMO launch. With the transition of Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls Online to B2P and Jagex’s Runescape offering a F2P option, both titles have attracted greater interest and are new to the July rankings at #19 and #20 respectively. Wargaming’s F2P World of Warships, created by the same team behind World of Tanks, is also new at #17. The single outlier is CCP’s subscription-based EVE Online, a new arrival at #18, though there are rumors in the gaming community that the title will inevitably transition into some form of F2P.
In June, Heroes of the Storm rose significantly in our rankings. However, analysis showed that a substantial amount of these players were also League of Legends players likely trying out Heroes of the Storm. One month later, the data indicates that a share of these players has stopped playing Heroes of the Storm, causing Heroes of the Storm to drop six ranks to #15. Valve’s Dota 2 fell three spots to #11 despite The International fast approaching and with a prize pool now exceeding $18 million. It will interesting to see how Heroes of the Storm and Dota 2 place in August.
Top 3 Still Stable
The top three games were stable in July, with League of Legends (Riot), Minecraft (Mojang) and Counter–Strike: Global Offensive (Valve) holding onto #1, #2 and #3 respectively. World of Warcraft (Blizzard) rose to #4, displacing World of Tanks to #5. With the announcement of its “Legion” expansion at Gamescom last week, it will be interesting to see if World of Warcraft can climb further up the rankings in August. Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft also gained one spot to #6 in July, displacing NCSoft’s Guild Wars 2 to #7.
PC Games Market Monitor
In line with our monthly Top 20 Core PC Games Rankings, we have developed a brand new service in collaboration with Overwolf. The PC Games Market Monitor provides a monthly overview of the performance, crossover and churn for the Top 20 PC/MMO games, and covers more than 40 countries across Europe, North America and Latin America. The data is derived from Overwolf’s userbase of close to 10 million PC gaming enthusiasts. Subscribers will receive a monthly report and dataset featuring the Top 20 PC games by unique players, game sessions and average session time. For a PC title of choice, the data will show crossover engagement and churn. Month-on-month changes are quantified for each game in every country of choice, revealing, for instance, the impact of marketing campaigns or (eSports) events.
More information can be found here.