Why it matters: Reseach firm SuperData has released its monthly report on the state of the gaming industry, and there are some interesting finds from the month of July. No Man’s Sky continues to redeem itself with its most successful month since launching in August 2016, while Fortnite’s massive growth finally showed signs of slowing.
As you’ll probably recall, No Man’s Sky was riding on a tidal wave of hype in the runup to its release two years ago, only to be almost universally condemned when it did arrive for its lack of multiplayer and misleading pre-release trailers. But following its fourth and largest update, Next, last month, the game rocketed to the top of the Steam charts.
As a result of the update, which added many of the elements that were missing at launch, No Man’s Sky generated an estimated $24 million across all platforms. Over two million people played the game last month, ten times the number of players that were active during June.
Fortnite may have passed the $1 billion revenue milestone in July, but its growth is slowing down—revenue is up only 2 percent from June. Superdata notes that growth was modest despite the launch of a new battle pass midway through July.
“Fortnite’s peak may be behind us,” writes SuperData. “Fortnite revenue is up only 2 percent from June. Growth was modest despite developer Epic Games releasing Season 5 of the game’s battle pass midway through the month.”
Revenue growth may have slowed, but Fortnite was still the top grossing console title in July and took fifth place in the PC category. The battle royale game made $318 million across all platforms in May, and a Friday Fortnite event in June gained 8.8 million unique viewers, more than The Walking Dead’s season finale. SuperData might believe the game has peaked, but the holiday season could prove it wrong.
Elsewhere, the ever-popular Overwatch saw its revenue continue to fall YoY, though monthly active users were up thanks to a free weekend and the addition of its 28th hero, Hammond: an oversized hamster in a massive, ball-shaped mech.
The champion revealed. pic.twitter.com/0Fdpg2iBcs— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 28, 2018
Grand Theft Auto V, which first arrived on the last-gen consoles back in 2013, had its highest-earning month of the year so far thanks to the “after hours” update. It was also its second-highest month since launch.
Overall, players spent $8.2 billion on digital games in July, up 3 percent from the same period last year.