League of Legends made $1.6 billion in 2015, PC gaming easily beating mobile in revenues generated

Highest grossing PC games in 2015

That’s an awful lot of skins. Superdata, a market research firm, has released its numbers for videogame revenues generated in 2015, and it makes for happy reading to anyone worried about the drawing power of the PC, though less so if you’re not into F2P and MMOs. With League of Legends sitting atop the pile, PC games generated $7 billion more in 2015 than mobile did, at a rather healthy $32 billion. Superdata’s numbers also indicate that despite subscriber losses and waning interest in subscription MMOs, World of Warcraft was still the fourth highest grossing game of the year, pulling in $814 million.

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Some more facts that jumped out at me from the official report:

  • The number 2 and 3 games in the world are Dungeon Fighter Online and Crossfire, games I’ve not only never played, but have barely heard of. Both have the majority of their players in Korea and China, but there are western followings too. Other than League, they are the only PC games to gross over a billion dollars.
  • WoW’s number would suggest the in-game shop has done exceedingly well for Blizzard. Thist doesn’t include sales of the last expansion, which was released in the final months of 2014, and some quick napkin math will show its 5-10 million players aren’t pushing it that high through sub fees alone. However, despite making twice as much as fifth place, it’s still onlyhalf the total League is pulling in.
  • Long-tail MMOs are here to stay. World of Tanks has been kicking about for more than five years. Lineage is from 1998 and the North American servers aren’t even online any more – that’s all Korea and co. Maplestory is similar, out in 2003 and, despite a sequel last year, still going strong in eastern territories.
  • In actual money made, Dota 2 and CS:GO are very close to one-another (if miles behind their biggest e-sports competitors). This supports the idea recently posed by SteamSpy that CS:GO is catching up in terms of pure number of players and, therefore, the number willing to spend money.
  • It’s interesting to see that the two largest games on Steam aren’t even close to the top of the list by money made. We consider Steam the home of PC gaming but globally it’s just one of several.
  • GTA V manages to get in there with its new multiplayer focus and addition of microtransactions, as well as being one of the best selling games of all time. However, it, Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 have all done very well and it’s good to see the idea of campaigns, narratives and single-player content isn’t totally missing at the very top of the food chain.

Personally, I’m just quite glad mobile hasn’t totally taken over, even while it grows massively. You can read the full report, which draws some conclusions as well as featuring a list on console titles, viaSuperdata’s site. Meanwhile, I’m going to look into some Korean MMOs…

Thanks, PCG.