Fortnite sales down by a third as online spending drops across all gaming

Spending on mobile games has seen an unexpected decline in the last 12 months, as the whole of gaming experiences a drop in revenues.

Fortnite is the top-grossing video game on any console and it has been for well over a year now, but proportionally it’s not doing nearly as well as it was.

According to new figures from research group SuperData full year earnings from Fortnite were down 38% from May 2018, to $203 million, which is described as ‘far off from its peak’. Although December 2018 was the game’s strongest month ever, when it earned $69 million and was downloaded 5.2 million times.

Tales of Fortnite’s slow decline have been around for a while now, with recent data showing that Minecraft has overtaken it in terms of popularity, but the most interesting thing about SuperData’s figures is that it shows overall digital game spending is down across every platform.

FIFA Ultimate Team was also down year-over-year, to $93 million, although direct comparisons are difficult thank to the influence of the World Cup last year.

Despite being written off by many PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold 4.7 million copies during the year, although it didn’t make the top 10 for any format and neither did EA’s Apex Legends.

Meanwhile, the Chinese setting for Total War: Three Kingdoms has seen the franchise achieve its biggest hit ever, almost beating Fortnite in terms of digital revenue on the PC with an estimated $62 million.

Worldwide, people spent $8.7 billion on digital games over the last year, on consoles, PC, and mobile. That sounds a lot but it’s down 4% on last year, with mobile down as much as 6% overall – which is a problem when mobile is bigger than console and PC combined.

SuperData offers no explanation for the drop, although it has been a while since a new mobile game has had the same impact as evergreens such as Candy Crush Saga, Clash Of Clans, and Pokémon GO.

That may create an opportunity for the recent Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, although it remains to be seen if it can reverse the trends of the last year.

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