We've known for a while that MOBAs (DOTA 2, League of Legends etc.) and MMOs (World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 etc.) make a lot of money, but a new study is saying that these types of games will make up 25 per cent of the $100 billion digital games industry in 2017.
The new research from Juniper entitled Future Games Market: MMO & MOBA 2017-2021also forecasts that revenues from these hugely popular online games will hit a whopping $43 billion by 2021, making up over a third of total global games industry revenues. This is largely driven by Free to Play (F2P) games such as Warframe and World of Tanks that require no initial spend from users, but make money through microtransactions.
A big factor towards this change is the growing presence of the eSports market which has MOBA games at its core. The eSports market will itself reach $3.5 billion by 2021.
Research author Lauren Foye explained: “MOBA games have evolved from user-made campaigns to a staple of the eSports industry, with considerable investment by games developers and publishers. Investment is driven by the fact that, in some cases, eSports viewership surpasses many popular sports.”
Riot Games' League of Legends dominates as for which games are leading the market, with over 100 million monthly users. Unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft is the leader in the MMO space, though its users are considered to only be a fraction of League of Legends'.
The research also highlighted that while PCs are currently the home of MOBAs and MMOs, consoles and mobile devices offer 'great scope' for future growth, and have been particularly underutilised until now. Juniper also talks about the possibilities and accessibilities of virtual reality for MMOs, though we haven't actually seen any examples of this in practice quite yet.