It wasn’t that long ago that people wouldn’t have been able to wrap their heads around how a game could make money if it was free, yet now it’s common knowledge that freemium games are some of the most successful. According to Super Data Research, this is most certainly still the case, with free-to-play game like Clash of Clans making hundreds of millions of dollars on mobile devices while games like League of Legends do the same on PCs.
A report out from Super Data Research this week, whose data is collected directly from publishers and developers and builds on the digital point of sale data from millions of gamers, ranked the top earners worldwide for free to play games. Topping the list was Tencent’s CrossFire and League of Legends, who together took home an annual gross of $1581 million. Media company Nexon grabbed three of the top ten spots with a combined worth of $800 million. Wargaming took $372 million for World of Tanks (which it eventually plans to launch on the Xbox One, reportedly). Lineage 1 took the sixth spot with $257 million in total sales. World of Warcraft, while losing subscribers this year, generated $213 million (note: this report is for micro-transaction sales only, not subscriptions). An oldie but goodie, Star Wars: The Old Republic earned $139 million, and Valve took the last two spots with Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike Online.