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10 of the Highest Earning Video Games on PC

highest earning video games

In the ever-evolving world of video games, there have been a few games that have not only captured the hearts of players but have also been able to generate tons of revenue. This list of the highest earning video games have set benchmarks in terms of sales, player engagement, and in-game purchases. Here, we explore ten of the highest earning video games on PC, delving into the details of their financial success and the factors that contributed to their immense popularity.

1. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft” (WoW), developed by Blizzard Entertainment, is one of the highest earning video games on PC, with total earnings exceeding $9 billion as of 2021. Launched in 2004, this MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) has maintained a massive player base through multiple expansions, consistent updates, and a thriving in-game economy. WoW’s revenue model includes monthly subscriptions, in-game purchases, and expansion packs, all of which have contributed to its monumental success.

2. League of Legends

Riot Games’ “League of Legends” (LoL) is a titan in the world of PC gaming, with estimated earnings of over $9 billion. Since its release in 2009, this multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game has grown exponentially in popularity, boasting millions of active players worldwide. The game’s free-to-play model, combined with microtransactions for cosmetic items, has proven to be incredibly lucrative. LoL’s success is further bolstered by its presence in the esports scene, attracting millions of viewers and significant sponsorship deals.

3. Fortnite

Although “Fortnite” is often associated with consoles, its PC version has also been a major revenue generator. Developed by Epic Games, “Fortnite” has earned an estimated $5.8 billion as of 2021. The game’s Battle Royale mode, which is free-to-play, has attracted a massive player base. Revenue is primarily driven by the sale of V-Bucks, the in-game currency used to purchase skins, emotes, and other cosmetic items. The constant updates, seasonal events, and collaborations with popular franchises keep players engaged and spending.

4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), developed by PUBG Corporation, is another heavyweight, earning its title among this list of the highest earning video games on PC. Since its release in 2017, PUBG has generated over $4 billion in revenue. The game’s innovative take on the Battle Royale genre, combined with realistic graphics and intense gameplay, has captivated millions of players. Revenue streams include game sales, in-game purchases, and a steady flow of new content through updates and events.

5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

Valve Corporation’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (CS:GO) is a cornerstone in the realm of first-person shooters, with total earnings surpassing $1 billion. Released in 2012, CS:GO has maintained a robust player base through regular updates, new maps, and game modes. The game’s free-to-play model, introduced in 2018, significantly boosted its player numbers. Revenue is primarily driven by the sale of in-game items such as skins and cases, which players can buy, sell, and trade on the Steam Marketplace.

6. Overwatch

Blizzard Entertainment’s “Overwatch” has made a significant impact on the PC gaming landscape, earning over $1 billion. Since its launch in 2016, this team-based first-person shooter has garnered a loyal following. The game’s revenue model includes initial game sales, seasonal events, and in-game purchases of loot boxes containing cosmetic items. Overwatch’s vibrant esports scene, including the Overwatch League, has also contributed to its financial success.

7. Dota 2

“Dota 2,” developed by Valve Corporation, is another MOBA (like League of Legends) that ranks among some of the highest earning video games on PC. With total earnings estimated at over $1 billion, Dota 2 has been a significant player in the gaming industry since its release in 2013. The game is free-to-play, with revenue generated through the sale of cosmetic items and the Battle Pass, which offers exclusive rewards during special events. The game’s immense popularity in the esports arena, particularly The International tournament, has further fueled its earnings.

8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios’ “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” is a legendary title in the RPG genre, with earnings over $1 billion. Released in 2011, Skyrim has sold millions of copies worldwide. The game’s success is attributed to its vast open world, engaging storyline, and extensive modding community. Skyrim’s various re-releases, including the Special Edition and the VR version, have also contributed to its impressive earnings.

9. Grand Theft Auto V

“Grand Theft Auto V” (GTA V), developed by Rockstar Games, is a monumental success in the gaming industry, with total earnings surpassing $6 billion. Since its release in 2013, GTA V has consistently been one of the highest earning video games on PC as well as consoles. The game’s expansive open world, engaging storyline, and online multiplayer mode (GTA Online) have kept players hooked for years. Revenue is generated through game sales, in-game purchases, and various downloadable content (DLC) packs.

10. Minecraft

“Minecraft,” developed by Mojang Studios and later acquired by Microsoft, is a cultural phenomenon with total earnings exceeding $2.5 billion. Released in 2011, Minecraft’s unique sandbox gameplay allows players to build, explore, and create in a blocky, pixelated world. The game’s success is driven by its widespread appeal across different age groups and its availability on multiple platforms. Revenue comes from game sales, merchandise, and various in-game purchases.

The world of PC gaming is large, with a handful of titles standing out not just for their gameplay but also for their remarkable earnings. Some of these highest earning video games have set new standards in the industry, leveraging innovative revenue models, engaging content, and strong community support to achieve financial success. From the enduring popularity of “World of Warcraft” to the cultural impact of “Minecraft,” these games have not only shaped the gaming landscape but have also generated billions of dollars in revenue, cementing their place in gaming history.