Older titles made life difficult for new releases in 2023

As part of a study, Newzoo is looking at the development of the video game industry in 2023. As the report shows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for new games to assert themselves on the market and achieve the corresponding number of users.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the market researchers published Newzoo their annual report on the video game industry. This provides us with various interesting details about the development that the industry experienced last year.


Let's start with the good news: According to Newzoo, the video game industry continued to grow in 2023, generating $93.5 billion in revenue. However, it should be noted that there are only a few leading studios and publishers who share the market among themselves.

Smaller developers and indie studios only benefit to a limited extent from the growing market. A development that could continue in the coming years. According to Newzoo, more than half of the playing time last year was on older games – especially live service titles.

Fewer than 70 titles account for the lion's share of playing time

Newzoo also stated in the annual report that last year just 66 titles accounted for 80 percent of the playing time. What is striking in this context is that titles that are now six or even more years old will be responsible for 60 percent of the playing time in 2023.

According to Newzoo, five of these older games alone accounted for 27 percent of the year's total playing time. Here we are dealing with “Fortnite”, “GTA 5” or its online component “GTA Online”, “League of Legends”, “Minecraft” and “Roblox”.


Regarding the playing time spent on titles that are considered “new” (two years or younger), it is said that this was also quite high at 23 percent. This category includes, among others, annual sports games such as “Madden NFL” or “EA Sports FC”.

According to the data, only eight percent of playing time was spent on new, non-annually released games such as “Diablo 4” or “Baldur's Gate 3”. Statistics that make it clear how difficult it is for new releases to assert themselves on the market and attract sufficiently large numbers of users.

These are the winners for 2023

But which titles emerged as the big winners in 2023? As the charts published by Newzoo make clear, there are few surprises in this area. Epic Games' long-running battle royale “Fortnite” secured the top position in the activity charts on all platforms last year.

There are also other multiplayer or live service titles such as “Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0”, “Minecraft” or “Apex Legends”, which dominate the charts on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

While Nintendo managed to place two newly released single-player titles in the top 10 with “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” and “Super Mario Bros.”, Microsoft only achieved this feat with “Starfield”.

On the PlayStation systems, however, no new single-player title made it into the top 10 most played titles in 2023 – despite well-known releases such as “Final Fantasy 16” or “Marvel's Spider-Man 2”.

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