Fortnite was 2019’s top-grossing sport, regardless of 25% income dip

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As UK sport spending shrinks barely year-on-year.

Free-to-play battle royale sensation Fortnite earned $1.8bn (1.38bn) worldwide in 2019 – making it final 12 months’s biggest-earning sport.

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It’s the second 12 months in a row Fortnite has earned that crown – even when income in 2019 was down 25 per cent from the $2.4bn (1.84bn) it raked in over 2018.

Superdata, a Nielsen firm which tracks international online game spending, described this drop as a “stabilisation” following Fortnite’s stratospheric launch.

Other large earners final 12 months included Pokmon Go – up year-on-year to $1.4bn (1.07bn). In whole, spending on free-to-play video games accounted for 80 per cent of all digital video games income.

Outside of free-to-play market, FIFA 19 was the highest PC and console sport earner. It generated $786m (601m), in comparison with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s $645m (493m), and the evergreen Grand Theft Auto 5’s $595m (455m).

FIFA 20, launched in September final 12 months, earned $504m (385m), whereas 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 earned an extra $487m (372m).

Spending on premium (ie. not free-to-play) video games shrank barely to $18.9bn (14.46bn) over 2019, down 5 per cent. Superdata places this all the way down to the smaller variety of large hit premium releases akin to 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Monster Hunter: World.

It’s an image largely mirrored by UK-specific information, printed by charts agency GfK and the Entertainment Retailers Association on Eurogamer sister website Video gamesIndustry.biz at the moment.

Here within the UK, bodily sport gross sales dropped by a bigger quantity – 21.7 per cent – over the course of 2019 for a last whole of 602.5m, whereas digital gross sales grew barely – up 1.1 per cent to a complete of 3.1bn.

This left the UK with an total dip of 3.4 per cent in mixed digital and bodily sport income in comparison with 2018. It’s the primary time the business has shrunk on this method since 2012 – the 12 months earlier than the final console era ended. All eyes can be on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this 12 months to reverse that pattern.

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