The Hong Kong-based Leyou Technologies, which owns a number of game developers such as Digital Extremes and Splash Damage, has reported earnings for its latest period and shared a lot of fresh details on how its games are performing.
Starting with Digital Extremes, the company’s flagship game, Warframe, continues to grow. For the calendar year ended December 31, Warframe had 57.5 million registered players, which is up 19.5 percent from 48 million for the year prior. It’s also now been confirmed for release on PS5 and Xbox Series X (more on that later).
Originally released in 2013, Warframe continues to grow and enjoy big success, becoming one of the most popular free-to-play games worldwide. It’s consistently in the top Steam charts in terms of players, and Leyou reports that it is one of the top-grossing free-to-play games on PS4 and Xbox One.
Leyou said Warframe’s continued success can be linked to the way in which Digital Extremes has steadily supported the title over the years with new DLC and more.
Revenue for Warframe in 2019, however, dropped 12.2 percent. Leyou said the downturn can be attributed to three items in particular, the first of which is competitive titles that have entered the market. The second reason that revenue has fallen is because people are holding back their console purchases because new systems, the PS5 and Xbox Series X, are due to launch later this year. The third reason is that f was so substantial in nature that the team couldn’t release smaller updates as fast as it could before.
These issues that impact Warframe’s revenue are “fleeting,” Leyou said, adding that the company expects Warframe to remain popular going forward.
In the statement, Leyou also mentions that Digital Extremes is planning to launch Warframe on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well as “other devices,” which should help the franchise grow further.
“Looking ahead to 2020, content updates for Warframe in the story quest The New War and another open world are planned to be launched in 2020. Besides, we will have further content updates of Empyrean , and optimise the beginner guidance process and beginner’s level. 2020 will be another prospering year for Warframe , and more plans will be announced to players in TennoCon in July 2020,” Leyou said.
Leyou also provided an updated on how its other games and franchises are coming along. In 2019, Leyou announced a deal with Amazon Game Studios to make a new Lord of the Rings MMO with its Athlon Games division, and Leyou said things are looking good for the game to become a “blockbuster.”
“Combining the huge organic traffic of popular IP, strategic partnership with international internet titan, with the Group’s leading game development and publishing capabilities, the Group is capable to maximise the success rate of turning the new product into a blockbuster,” Leyou said.
This game, as well as a new Transformers game and Civilization Online, are “progressing well,” Leyou said. The company is also working on “multiple unannounced new products in various development stages,” and these are moving ahead nicely as well, the firm said. Some of them will launch in 2020, but the company declined to offer any specifics.
Leyou also operates a work-for-hire business through its wholly owned subsidiary, Splash Damage, as well as via its interest in Certain Affinity. Revenue from work-for-fire projects jumped by 22.3 percent to $31.2 million. Some of the notable work-for-hire projects from Leyou’s companies in 2019 included the multiplayer portion of Gears 5 and Halo: Reach for The Master Chief Collection, both of which were developed by Splash Damage. The UK-based studio also developed the Gears of War strategy game, Gears Tactics, which launches in April.
Leyou’s work-for-hire division also secured “multiple new deals” for the future that will bring in more cash, but these were not disclosed.
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