Fortnite and Other Older Games Dominated 2023

New Releases Struggle to Compete with Evergreen Titles Such as Fortnite and GTA

Despite the highly anticipated releases of Spider-Man 2, Starfield, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in 2023, gamers continued to flock to older titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Fortnite, according to a report by Newzoo.

The report revealed that 66 games, including Fortnite and GTA 5, captured 80% of overall playtime, with a staggering 60% of that time devoted to games released six years ago or more. Newzoo’s analysis, based on monthly active users across multiple markets, highlighted the enduring popularity of established titles over newer releases.

On PC, no new releases made the top rankings, while only EA Sports FC 24 secured a spot on PlayStation’s list. Xbox’s roster featured Starfield as the sole 2023 release, while the Nintendo Switch saw Tears of the Kingdom, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and Hogwarts Legacy among its top-played games.

Fortnite emerged as the most played game across all platforms, with other perennial favorites like Roblox, Minecraft, and GTA 5 maintaining significant player engagement. Fortnite and the other stalwarts, alongside annual franchises like Call of Duty and sports titles, collectively commanded a substantial portion of playtime.

Newzoo noted the challenge for studios aiming to release new titles, given the entrenched dominance of established franchises. Despite this, games like Diablo 4, Hogwarts Legacy, and Baldur’s Gate 3 managed to carve out a niche, achieving notable success despite lower playtime percentages.

Diablo 4, in particular, enjoyed a strong launch with 10 million players in its debut month, while Hogwarts Legacy became the best-selling game of the year, marking a significant milestone outside the Call of Duty and Rockstar dominance. Similarly, Baldur’s Gate 3 generated substantial revenue for publisher Hasbro.

Elden Ring’s enduring popularity, despite its 2022 release, underscored its significance in the gaming landscape, with publisher Bandai Namco reporting impressive sales figures. Meanwhile, Starfield achieved rapid success, surpassing even Bethesda’s renowned titles like Skyrim and Fallout 4.

With the impending release of Grand Theft Auto 6 in 2025, the gaming landscape may see a shift, potentially disrupting the dominance of older titles and ushering in a new era of gaming excellence.