SuperData Wraps Up 2019 with December Numbers

We have the final monthly digital revenue update from SuperData Research with the release of their December chart.

SuperData Research Top 10 – December 2019

Going straight to the PC end of the chart, the usual top four stayed in their usual ranking, with League of Legends still at the top of the revenue list.  The first change doesn’t hit until fifth position, where World of Warcraft was last month.  In December Red Dead Redemption 2 moved up into fifth place thanks to launching on Steam, with Roblox, which drops on and off the list, surging up into the sixth spot.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare held onto seventh, where it was last month, while World of Warcraft ended up down in eighth.

After that was CS:GO, another title that wanders on and off the chart, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which landed on PC at the start of December.

Missing from the list are Fortnite, which had been in the top five for a few months, but which had been falling off more recently, and World of Tanks, a long time and regular entry in the bottom half of the list.  With no revenue numbers to gauge by, you cannot really tell if the new titles were surging onto the list or if revenue dropped off for the titles that fell off.

On the console list, Pokemon Sword & Shield, which topped the list after its November launch, disappeared completely.  On top for December instead was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare which was in second place the previous month.  FIFA 20 and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order swapped and then moved up a spot, while Grand Theft Auto V, the old grand dad of the list, managed a fifth place finish for the holiday season.  Finally, Fortnite is still holding on in the console space, grabbing the sixth spot.

On the mobile end of the chart Clash of Clans ran ahead and passed perennial top title Honour of Kings in December.  Candy Crush Saga landed in third place and Pokemon Go fell down to ninth position.  Also of note is Roblox, which broke into both the mobile and PC list this month, and Homescapes and Gardenscapes, both of which I have noticed advertising very heavily in other mobile apps.  I saw constant ads for both  in Words with Friends.

We can compare this with the December numbers from NPD.  As always, NPD is US only, combines PC and console sales, and do not always include digital sales.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  3. Madden NFL 20
  4. NBA 2K20
  5. Luigi’s Mansion 3*
  6. Pokemon Sword*
  7. Mario Kart 8*
  8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  9. Pokemon Shield*
  10. Minecraft**

* Digital sales not included
*** PC Digital sales not included

The top of this list tracks the first spots on the SuperData console list, as consoles still depend quite a bit on the physical distribution chain.  People go to GameStop to buy console titles still.

FIFA 20 doesn’t make the cut because we don’t care that much in the US.

And Nintendo, which has no presence on the SuperData console chart this month grabs half the spots on the NPD chart.  Nintendo depends on physical sales more than any other console.

I think it is a bit of a cheat to split out Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, but they do what they do.  But it looks like a lot of people got games for their Switch under the tree in December.

NPD also has a full 2019 sales chart.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. NBA 2K20
  3. Madden NFL 20
  4. Borderlands 3
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  8. Kingdom Hearts III
  9. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  10. Mario Kart 8*

* Digital sales not included

As one might expect, another console-centric list there.  I suspect that Pokemon Sword & Shield would have made the cut had they decided to break them out as individual titles.

SuperData released their own report on 2019 already, which I covered in a previous post.

And so it goes.  The SuperData report also included the following items to accompany their chart:

Consumer spending on digital games reached an all-time high of $9.8B in December 2019, up 8% year-over-year. Substantial year-over-year growth in mobile revenue (28%) more than offset falling Console and PC earnings (down 25% and 4%, respectively). Console spending was down partially due to shrinking Fortnite revenue (December 2018 was the title’s highest-earning month ever) and also due to fewer major premium games being released in late 2019 compared to the 2018 holiday season.

Clash of Clans from Supercell had its best month ever, more than seven years after its launch. The game earned $158.2M in December 2019 as content updates and holiday sales resulted in growth of monthly active users (MAU) and conversion rates.

A gamble on a new business model paid off for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Unlike past games in the franchise, Modern Warfare did not offer a season pass or paid map packs and monetized exclusively through battle pass sales and microtransactions. Despite this, Modern Warfare revenue in Q4 2019 was 4% higher than Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII during its launch quarter. In December 2019, the first month Modern Warfare players could purchase in-game content, spending reached $78.7M, nearly as much as was spent on Black Ops IIII in-game content during that game’s entire first quarter ($92.9M).

Grand Theft Auto V had its best month since December 2017. The game earned $84.7M across Console and PC as discounts drove downloads. Additionally, the release of the Diamond Casino Heist content update, a follow up to the highly successful July 2019 Diamond Casino and Resort update, resulted in increased spending on premium currency.

Red Dead Redemption 2 received a substantial boost after launching on Steam. Digital unit sales more than doubled from 406K in November to 1.0M in December. The game became available on Steam on December 5, one month after releasing elsewhere including the Epic Games Store and Rockstar Games Launcher. This brief exclusivity window was advertised in advance, so many players simply waited a short period to play the game on their preferred launcher.

 

1 thought on “SuperData Wraps Up 2019 with December Numbers

  1. Redbeard

    I’ve been really thinking that the Fortnite fad might be losing steam lately, given that I’ve heard less and less of it from my kids. Not that they play, but they know people who do, and they’ve not heard about Fortnite so much from them. Ironically enough, I’ve heard more about Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms and SWTOR from their neck of the woods than anything else.

    Like

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