Unity released the latest report on the popularity of multiplayer games (Multiplayer).
According to the report, among those who play games, 77% of them play multiplayer titles. This is partly due to the social aspects of this form, as some gamers say they decide what games to play based on friends who have played.
Unity reports in sync with an update to its UGS multiplayer solutions. The new update includes several tools, including the ability to scale to millions of players.
Multiplayer titles have seen a spike in engagement this year. Jeff Collins, Unity’s technical SVP, said in an interview: “I think in times of pandemic there are more people playing the game. This pushes studios to create more new, exciting content, and that continues into this year. New games and consistent content seem to have maintained engagement even though we’re getting back to normal post-pandemic life.”
Collins added: “Multiplayer games will continue to grow in popularity. I think we’ll see the game break down barriers for people to play against each other on any device. We will see growing interest in user-generated content and new models of the creator economy.”
Unity conducted an online survey of gamers in the US, UK, Korea, and Japan, collecting feedback from around 1,500 players. Of those, about 50% of them are “casual” gamers (defined as those who spend “at least two hours of gaming per week, of which at least 30 minutes are playing multiplayer”) and “active” gamers (defined as those who spend “at least four hours per week playing a multiplayer game” in the battle royale, MMO, FPS, etc.)
As expected, not all multiplayer genres are equally popular. Battle royale and FPS are the most popular multiplayer game genres, according to the report, followed by sports and racing games. MOBA and RTS which are also popular in Korea perform much better than FPS and racing games.
The popularity of a game in a particular location can also be tied to the social aspects of multiplayer. According to the report, nearly half of gamers said the deciding factor in playing a game is whether it’s in a genre they already love. However, 34% also responded that a major factor was whether their friends were playing or not.