2017 Game Industry Data: ‘One in Three People in the World Play Free to Play Games’

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

This data shows how big is the free to play market both on PC and mobile platform with MOBA as the most popular genre.

The analyst firm Superdata has released its report about 2017’s game industry data. This data shows more detail about the overall performance of the industry in one year. Free to play games still dominate the industry, both in PC and mobile.

Superdata says that the entire interactive entertainment business (such as digital games, eSports, streaming, and VR/AR) generated around US$108.4 billion in 2017. Mobile is still dominating, bringing in total around US$59.2 billion or an increase around US$14 billion from 2016.

That number is followed by PC with US$33 billion and digital console games with US$8.3 billion.

2017 game industry data free to play games

We can say that 2017 is the rising year of premium PC games. For example, strong performance from PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, which individually earned US$714 million or 12% of total paid game revenue in 2017. But still, free to play games are still dominating the revenue, both in PC and mobile.

Superdata found that one in three people in the world, or around 2.5 billion people play free to play games, combined both from PC and mobile. The number successfully generates around US$82 billion in revenue or around 89% of the total revenue from the interactive entertainment business.

What games are contributing most to the revenue?

2017 game industry data free to play games

In detail, around US$15 billion comes from free to play games on PC. The top two are Riot Games’ free-to-play MOBA  League of Legends with $2.1 billion, followed by Nexon and Tencent’s Dungeon Fighter Online with $1.6 billion. CrossFire from Nexon is not far behind in third place with US$1.4 billion revenue in one year.

Surprisingly, Dota 2 is less popular than those three titles in terms of the revenue. At 2017, this Valve’s MOBA game can only generate around US$406 million and makes them place in the fifth place.

2017 game industry data free to play games

For mobile, Asian publishers dominate the top three revenue rank in 2017. Tencent’s Arena of Valor top the leaderboard with US$1.9 billion revenue, followed by Fantasy Westward Journey from NetEase (US$1.5 billion) and Monster Strike from Mixi (US$1.3 billion).

Without having a new game released in 2017, Supercell is still strong in terms of yearly revenue. Its two games, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans can generate around US$1.2 billion each, makes them earn profit around US$810 million in a year.

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Superdata also states that Asia will continue to be the most emerging market for the free to play games. At the end of 2018, Superdata predicts that Asia will gain US$49.2 billion revenue from free to play games or around US$3 billion more than in 2017.

Source: Superdata. Edited by Devi




About Writer

Febrianto is the Senior Editor of and the Lead Editor of He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.