For all the talk of saturation in the MOBA genre, videogame research firm EEDAR have just released a white paper that identifies the MOBA genre as PC gaming’s fastest growing market, with $406 million in revenue in North America alone in 2014. And they predict another year of massive growth in 2015.
While Dota 2 and League are the market leaders driving a lot of this growth, one of EEDAR’s more interesting conclusions is that it’s not a zero-sum game between MOBA developers. The pie is still getting larger.
“MOBA titles have performed exceptionally well,” EEDAR write, “recording immense growth while also helping to legitimize the F2P model. Much of MOBA's growth in 2014 was due to the continued rise of market leaders League of Legends and Dota 2, but EEDAR believes that many future entrants, such as Heroes of the Storm and Infinite Crisis) will continue to broaden the audience rather than cannibalize users.”
Laid-out in black-and-white, MOBA games’ NA revenue growth continues to be wildly impressive. Between 2013 and 2014, the market gained another $150 million in revenue, and it’s on track to add another $100 million in 2015. It’s a reminder that while MOBAs might be old news for those of us who play PC games (and especially those of us who write about them), they still have a ton of commercial momentum.
Oh, and yes, 36% of that revenue is costumes and skins. MOBA gamers are unable to resist pretty things. We’re like magpies.
That said, EEDAR had a few words of warning for the MOBA competitors. It singled out League’s “toxic community” as a key weakness, as well as Dota 2’s steep learning curve. For Heroes of the Storm, EEDAR were concerned that players never really get the feeling of power and accomplishment when they carry a team, due to the shared experience model that Heroes employs.
But overall, the takeaway is that there’s still plenty of room at the table for new entrants like Heroes and Infinite Crisis. Looks like EA pulled the plug on Dawngate too early, perhaps?
Credit to VentureBeat for spotting this report.