This is an...odd...metric. It's very much one that's going to be wildly biased towards children, who are going to play games that are either cheap or free, and which can be played on the kinds of devices that children will have access to. Children are also going to be strongly influenced by network effects, wanting to play the games that their friends are playing, which is going to have a big impact on why they'd play Roblox instead of Balatro.

As for the big yearly releases...well, yeah. They're famously the games of choice for people who play nothing else. They're mostly people who aren't into "gaming" at all, but just want to play a simulation of a sport that they enjoy featuring the players that they follow. CoD is the big outlier, but it's running on fumes now, relying on a trio of remakes of the Modern Warfare games with no indicator that they know what to do next.

Considering big franchise games tend to sell based on the quality of the previous game in the series, the next CoD is likely to bomb after the critical and public drubbing that MW3 got, and that's likely to be pretty much the end for the non-sports annualized franchise market.

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I do wonder what the playtime stuff hides though when you break it down by demographics. The Palworld payer overlap slide sketches this but I’d really like to see the same data broken down by something like “average spend on all gaming content” - said differently, I don’t think it’s really “news” that good free options that have been around for a while trump new premium options, especially for the “average” player that probably only buys 1-2 games a year (if that)

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Yeah, any playtime stat is going to skew wildly towards children and maybe young teens, who will play whatever's inexpensive on whatever device is available. That doesn't mean Spider-Man 2, that means Roblox and Minecraft.

In turn: League of Legends, famously, runs on pretty much any computer made in the last decade, and is built for long play sessions. A gacha like like Honkai Star Rail is not, their play sessions are designed to be comparatively short. HSR still brought in over 100 mil in March, though, and that won't be reflected by this particular metric.

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