The staff at MMOGames are always looking for new ways to dissect and investigate the online gaming industry. Which is why we’ve introduced MMOney, a new monthly column that looks just at the financial news from the industry in the previous month. We will try to use language that makes it easy for everyone to understand. This column may be more frequent during quarterly report season as so much new information is released. We would also love feedback from you, our readers! Do you like the column? Is there anything we can do to improve it? Let us know in the comments.
Blizzard Q2 2017 Report Falls Short of Expectations
The Q2 financial report for Activision-Blizzard wasn’t as strong as investors were expecting and as a result stock took a bit of a hit. But it isn’t all bad news. Blizzard has been the driving force for the company accounting for 42% of the revenue Overwatch and Hearthstone have both seen their monthly active user numbers continue to rise, despite both being more than a year old. Blizzard also talked up their time spent metric, showing that compared to last year players are spending more time in World of Warcraft. Not surprising at all when you consider Legion’s release.
Destiny 2 was also a talking point for the company. The console beta had more players than the 2014 Destiny beta and there have now been more pre-orders made for Destiny 2 than there were for Destiny. If you look at the reasons why you have the fact that Destiny 2 will be on PC, opening up a whole new audience. You also have those who started playing after pre-orders finished. So really, this is in line with expectations.
Pokemon Go Returns to the Charts and Gaming Industry is Expanding in Superdata Reports
Superdata released 2 different reports this month. The first looked just at July, which most notably saw the return of Pokemon Go on the Mobile Game earning chart. League of Legends tops the PC chart, and Grand Theft Auto V tops consoles. Free to Play MMOs showed the most growth in July, increasing 29%. While pay to play MMOs declined by 2%. PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds sold another 1.6 million units last month.
The second report looked at all of 2017 so far and had a number of different interesting bits of information. Mobile is the biggest platform, female gamers make up 46% of the market in the US, and 665 million people have watched videos about games so far. The biggest game of the year so far is of course League of Legends. For the first time in history, interactive media has reached $100 billion. It is also predicted that by 2020 that number will be $168.8 billion. More people watch gaming video content than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined. In fact, the audience is twice the population of the United States. Gamers are also more likely to be watching live streams than prime time TV as this is when the most content is watched.
Gamestop Q2 Profits Fall
Despite the Nintendo Switch releasing Gamestop’s profits continue to fall. Their sale of Kongregate kept the decline at 20%. They have seen some growth in the digital market however which increased 28%. Collectibles also saw growth of 36%. In an effort to help the struggling retailer stay afloat ALL Gamestops will be open on Thanksgiving.
Dual Universe Gets Massive Investment
Private investors have given Dual Universe a massive $3.7 in funding, which adds to the $630,000 that was raised on Kickstarter. The MMO will be entering pre-alpha on September 30th. Though it will be limited to crowdfunding backers who have pledged at the gold level or higher. Which on Kickstarter was at least €100.
Guild Wars 2 Hits An All Time Low in NCSoft’s Q2 Report
Thanks to the launch of Lineage M NCSoft’s mobile games totaled 93.7 billion Won. Meanwhile, Guild Wars 2 saw only 13.5, the lowest it has ever been. However, thanks to Path of Fire, Guild Wars 2 will have a fantastic third quarter.
WoW Gold More Valuable Than Real Life Currency
As a result of the ongoing troubles in Venezuela World of Warcraft gold is worth more than the Bolivar. On the black market, now the best place to get Venezuela’s currency, you can get $1 for 8493.97 bolivars while a WoW token is worth 8385 gold per dollar. This was discovered by a Twitter user and later a website that tracks currency said that actually, the gap between WoW gold and the Bolivar is even higher than originally thought.
Korea’s FTC Will Investigate Starcraft
Korea’s PC Bang Association has requested the Fair Trade commission look into Starcraft fees. The association argues that Blizzard are double-charging by requiring an hourly fee on top of the flat fee for the license. They go further to say that it isn’t worthy of the new fees as the upgraded version has no new content. Blizzard Korea fired back saying that Remastered is a new game with new perks and exclusive offerings.
Shroud of the Avatar Raises Almost $700,000
The Shroud of the Avatar equity crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest raised just under $700,000 from 518 investors. While the monthly telethon raised $67,500 which has granted several stretch goals to players.
Elite Dangerous Passes 2.75 Million Sales
This month Frontier Developments announced that Elite: Dangerous and the expansion Horizons have passed a grand total of 2.75 million sales. The last sales count we were given was back in January 2016 when they reported 1.4 million copies sold.
Pearl Abyss Merging Game Companies
Pearl Abyss has its fingers in many pies and they’ve announced that they’re combining all of their game businesses in one pie tin. It will be called Kakao Games Holdings. The company has several mobile games, Black Desert Online, and will be publishing PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds in Korea. The reason for this move is to improve efficiency and to prepare the company for an IPO.
Scott Hartsman Addresses Concerns Over Trion’s Financial State
Delidding Tech put out a piece in which they paint the situation at Trion in a negative light, pointing at layoffs and a shareholder report for Fidelity’s Contrafund as the source of the concerns. Trion’s CEO Scott Hartsman very quickly took to Reddit where the article had been shared in the ArcheAge subreddit to address the concerns. Quite simply one of Fidelity’s funds has had a small stake in Trion since before Scott took over. As for the layoffs, Scott pointed out that in the last 4 years they’ve become a company which doesn’t lay off people every year, something that is quite common in the industry.
More eSports Prize Funds Surpassing $1 Million Than Ever
12 eSports have over $1 million in prize funds, more than have ever been seen before. In 2016 10 games made the list. You only have to go as far back as 2010 to find a time when there was only one game, Counterstrike with prize funds over a million dollars. Dota 2 tops the list so far this year with $32,803,807.04 across 71 tournaments. All of this comes from esportsearnings.com which has information as far back as 1998.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Column, Dual Universe, Elite: Dangerous, eSports, Financials, Guild Wars 2, Industry, Kickstarter, Lineage M, MMOney, MMORPG, Mobile, NCSoft, Pearl Abyss, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Pokemon GO, Shroud of the Avatar, Starcraft, Trion Worlds, World of Warcraft