Fortnite reigns supreme in SuperData's Highest Earning Video Games of 2019
(Photo : Epic Games)

Nielsen's game-industry research arm SuperData has released its 2019 Year in Review report, which saw the online game Fortnite claiming the top spot for the second year in a row.

Still Number One

Fortnite retains its number one spot on SuperData's revenue report. However, the game's financial performance actually dropped by a quarter, from $2.4 billion in 2018 to just $1.8 billion in 2019. Even with its apparent decline, Fortnite still has a comfortable $200 million lead over the next highest earner - Nexon's Dungeon Fighter Online.

Contributing factors towards Fortnite's success include its multiple partnerships in 2019. Developer Epic Games was able to connect its players to different interests and public figures last year, giving its community more things to look forward to in-game other than the gameplay itself. They had high profile partnerships with John Wick, The Avengers, and musician Marshmello, even capping the year off with an exclusive trailer only seen inside the game for the last movie of the Star Wars Saga.

Fortnite also continues to invest in its e-sports scene, with its first World Cup concluding last July. It crowned a teenager as its first champion, earning himself $3 million

Worthy Adversaries

It's worth noting that Fortnite isn't the leader in terms of player base - other games such as Riot's League of Legends dwarfs Fortnite's numbers by a margin. However, Fortnite's effective use of its Battle Pass, along with its creative new cosmetics, helps entice players to continue spending on the game, much better than other games in the industry. 

Its own reinvention late last year helped Fortnite increase its numbers, though. In 2020, we might see a stronger performance for the game. But with Riot Games possibly releasing their mobile game Wild Rift, Epic Games is sure to meet a lot of competition, too. 

Another interesting angle to look out for is the release of Microsoft's Xbox One Series X and Sony's Playstation 5 in the Holidays of 2020. Fortnite may be able to find new footing if it manages to latch on the two console giants' new ecosystems, but it could much easily lose against new, much more superior games at launch date.

A Growing Video Game Industry

SuperData reports that the video game industry has a year over year growth of about three percent. The industry generated $120.1 billion in 2019, with $64.4 billion coming from the mobile gaming sector. Meanwhile, PC gaming only contributed $29.6 billion, and console games contributed only $15.4 billion.

Free-to-play games are the biggest contributors to the industry's revenue, accounting for 80% of all dollars spent on digital games in 2019. Most of this revenue came from mobile games. Microtransactions and loot boxes are the primary movers of this segment, which sees free-to-play games earn a steady income over time.

Meanwhile, extended reality games are seen as a growing segment of video gaming, with a 26% increase from last year at $6.3 billion in revenue in 2019. This is largely thanks to new VR headsets, such as the Oculus Quest.

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