FPS games lose $1.6B a year due to online toxicity

In this short article, we’ll deduce the cost game studios and game hosts pay due to online toxicity in FPS games.

A couple of definitions to get started:

First person shooters (AKA FPS): All types of battle royales, tactical shooters, war simulators or medieval wars – as long as the player moves in 3D and attacks – it’s an FPS. Some examples of online FPS are: Fortnite, PUBG, Call of duty, Apax Legends, Battlefield, CS:GO, among many others.

Online toxicity: Any type of cheating or griefing done by a player to another player. Some examples of online toxicity in FPS games are: using aimbots, wallhacks, invincibility hacks, shooting teammates, working against team interest, playing instead of someone else to boost their stats, camping in one place for prolonged periods of time, and so on.

Step 1: Understanding the FPS market potential

Step 2: Understanding how toxicity affects gamers

According to a GDC report, games with less toxicity have a +16% player retention rate over toxic games.

It is safe to say that higher player retention directly correlates to higher revenues, thus, we can infer that online toxicity is costing ($10B * 0.16%)  $1.6B yearly to FPS game studios and other affected stakeholders.

To expose the size of the problem from a different angle, let’s take a look at the people that are making money from cheats, these are the companies that build and sell the cheats to gamers. 

Last year, China closed such a cheating company that was worth $750M, that’s one company out of hundreds of currently active cheating companies (GameRant report).

This shows the sheer scale of the cheating phenomena and exposes the fact that there are tens of millions of active gamers that are cheating, poisoning the gaming community and causing player churn.

To conclude: Unless something changes, the gaming community will keep paying in grief and the gaming studios in dollars.

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