If you were wondering why Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is skipping a single-player campaign in favor of its new battle royale mode, or why Battlefield V developer DICE sheepishly shoehorned a mention of a battle royale mode for the upcoming shooter during EA Play 2018, the latest analyst prediction about the battle royale trend might clarify a few things.
Fresh off its report that Fortnite Battle Royale has earned $1 billion through microtransactions alone, research firm SuperData is now predicting that games with major battle royale components will earn $12.6 billion in total revenue in 2018, with that number jumping up to $20.1 billion in 2019 following the late-2018 releases of premium titles like Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V.
Breaking this down further, SuperData predicts that half of that revenue ($10.2 billion) will come from premium console and PC games like Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V, which are both releasing in late 2018. This means that, since the bulk of the actual game sales will most likely happen at release and through the 2018 holiday season, most of the revenue will come from microtransactions like Battlefield V‘s Company-based cosmetics. This would be an increase from less than $5 billion in revenue made during 2018.
Free-to-play battle royale games like Fortnite and mobile battle royale games like PUBG Mobile will also see an increase in revenue in 2019, according to SuperData, though not as dramatically as premium games. If those titles are earning $7.9 billion in 2018, they will only see an increase to $9.8 billion in 2019. No matter how you slice it, this is still a massive jump from the $1.7 billion that battle royale games overall earned in 2017.
Statista has put these predicted numbers into a convenient chart form:
It’s unclear exactly which games SuperData is including in its predictions, but another massive upcoming title that’s rumored to include a battle royale mode is Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar Games, secretive as ever, has yet to confirm that rumor, but parent company Take-Two Interactive seems keen on pumping all of its games full of microtransactions and a battle royale mode would give people a reason to spend.