Nielsen’s SuperData game research firm has launched a tool that predicts the performance of existing and upcoming digital games across several key metrics that include revenue, monthly active users and in-game spending.
The SuperData Arcade Forecaster also gives publishers, developers, and investors a bird’s-eye view of the broader trends in the game industry by offering market-level numbers for the PC, console and mobile segments.
As part of SuperData Arcade, subscribers can access the most up-to-date view of the premium console segment, which is widely considered to be an important health indicator for the industry as a whole.
Publishers and developers can also access Arcade Forecaster for a 12-month performance outlook for major digital game franchises, giving them the opportunity to monitor top competitors and games gaining popularity, as well as evaluate the addressable market for new titles and identify trending genres and titles.
The forecast suggests that premium console game sales will level off in 2019 due to a lack of new titles and the growing popularity of free-to-play titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends. (If only it could forecast how I will do in my next round of Apex Legends).
However, the Arcade Forecaster shows robust gains in 2020 with the anticipated launch of a next-generation console from Sony and new titles currently under development.
“The launch of the Arcade Forecaster represents an exciting milestone in digital game research,” said Sam Barberie, vice president of business development and product at SuperData, in a statement. “The pace of game innovation and player preferences has never been greater, and clients will now have a comprehensive understanding of how current trends are likely to affect the future performance of top console, PC and mobile games.”
To simulate the future performance of titles and markets, the Arcade Forecaster uses individual and bulk-level transaction data collected from publishers, developers and payment service providers to build composite weighted averages based on historical patterns that include user growth-decay curves and average revenue per paying user. The forecasting models are revised and updated on a monthly basis to accommodate fresh data that includes announcements
In addition to markets, the Arcade Forecaster also tracks the future performance of a growing list of individual titles to understand the singular effect of market movers like Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption 2. The 12-month title forecasts give insight into the constantly evolving monetization trends in digital games by showing how much revenue came from full-game sales compared to in-game spending, which includes revenue from subscriptions and microtransactions.
In 2020, revenue from in-game spending on premium console is expected to contribute $4.9 billion to the $13.2 billion market, up 7% from $4.6 billion in 2019. Similarly, premium console revenue from full-game sales will grow 29% to $8.3 billion.