VentureBeat is reporting on a study research firm EEDAR did on MOBAs and found their growth so outstanding that they’re set to outperform MMOs in 2015.
How much money did MOBAs make?
According to EEDAR, revenue from MOBAs in North America in 2014 was just over $400 million, around a 40% increase from 2013’s $250 million. Keep in mind that the MOBAs being counted are all free-to-play, meaning that all this revenue was generated by a game that costs nothing to download. The biggest games in this explosive market? League of Legends and DotA 2.
If this revenue stream isn’t impressive enough, over half of PC gamers that tried a free-to-play PC game in 2014 have played a MOBA. This is the secret to their massive growth. With no cost of entry, people are more likely to try it and spend a few bucks unlocking a character or cosmetic skin. Even though these are massively successful, just shy of half of MOBA players don’t spend a dime. In fact, the top 10% of players account for 62% of total revenue in the concerned markets.
Who plays MOBAs?
No surprises here, it’s primarily young men. Almost 75% of MOBA players are men and the average age of these men is just above 25. It should be noted that this is slightly younger than the average age of a free-to-play gamer, which hovers around 26 years old.
What are people spending money on?
It should be no surprise that cosmetics, champion unlocks, and experience boosters make up most of the revenue for MOBAs, as these have the most inherent value. Cosmetics (avatar and non-avatar) combined account for 46% of all MOBA revenues. Odds are if you play a MOBA, you’ve bought at least one cosmetic skin. I know I’ve bought a ton of skins in my MOBA of choice, Smite.
Speaking of Smite, EEDAR cited my favorite MOBA as the third largest, taking in 16% of the market and counting according to this report. Smite also has a version set to come out this year on Xbox One, which will hopefully be the beginning of a whole new market for MOBAs on video game consoles. Smite is able to do this because it controls from a third person perspective rather than the traditional isometric camera, making it easier to play on a controller.
What problems could stop MOBAs from growing?
League of Legends is already the most played game in the world, and DotA 2 isn’t too far behind. If these games are only getting bigger, they still must face several issues that plague the communities, such as toxic players and a steep learning curve. With e-sports and MOBA markets growing as quickly as they are, we can only hope that the issues will be resolved before it’s too late.
credit to PCGamesN for spotting VentureBeat’s report on EEDAR’s report