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Older games like Fortnite account for over 60% of playtime, new report suggests

Games that are at least six years accounted for more than 60 percent of playtime in 2023, a new report suggests.

Newzoo’s second annual PC and Console Gaming Report includes data analysing player trends, highlighting how playtime has shrunk and is focused on a smaller number of games.

Live service and sandbox games dominate player time, based on monthly active users in 2023. Notably, the top game across all major platforms was Fortnite.

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Analysing the percentage of total hours spent on games by release date, 61 percent of total hours was spent on games six years old and over. Newer releases (under three years old) accounted for 23 percent of time.

Indeed, the top five older games accounted for over 25 percent of all playtime: that’s Fortnite, Roblox, League of Legends, Minecraft, and GTA 5.


Average playtime, listed by quarter, has decreased by 26 percent since Q1 2021. This is somewhat expected following the pandemic boom, but even 2023’s Q4 failed to bring growth despite the holiday season.

The report ranks the top 10 games across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch by average Monthly Average Users (MAU). For PC, PlayStation and Xbox, the likes of Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, Call of Duty, and GTA 5 all feature.

Over on Switch, the list is predominantly Nintendo exclusives like Zelda, Mario and Pokémon, although Fortnite is number one. Fall Guys, perhaps surprisingly, is also included.

Chart showing the top 10 games ranked by average MAU in 2023 across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch
Image credit: Newzoo

In short, this all means competition is fierce between new games as players spend less time on gaming overall and focus mainly on older, known live service games. New games competed for just 8 percent of total playtime in 2023, with Diablo 4 coming out on top.

The report also suggests new player growth opportunities will flatten out in the coming years across both PC and console.

“Last year saw many highly anticipated and delayed games make landfall while significant layoffs cast a shadow over the industry,” surmised Newzoo lead analyst Tom Wijman. “The market did recover after a slight dip in 2022, but truly significant growth is still not on the immediate horizon. Playtime is on the decline in 2024, and market consolidation is pushing more eyes and cash into the hands of fewer games and studios.”

This is all in-line with other reports, including comments from Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer over an overall “lack of growth” for the games industry, which has resulted in mass layoffs not only at Microsoft but across the whole industry.

It also explains why companies are still chasing live service game success. Sony, in particular, previously stated it aimed to launch over 10 new live service games, although in November last year it confirmed the number of live service games to be released by March 2026 had been halved from 12 to six.

It was also reported last year that Sony’s pivot to live service games “may not pay off the way Jim Ryan had once hoped”. Ryan this week left the company to begin his retirement.

Fornite exploded further in popularity last year with its biggest concurrent player count ever following the return of its original map.


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