SuperData Research released their digital revenue numbers for December last week, so it is time once again to see what they say. Overall it was another big month for video game revenue.
- Digital games closed out 2020 with $12.0B in December, which was an 15% growth from the prior year and the highest monthly revenue total ever. Mobile earnings were up 5% year-over-year and console earnings grew 16%. PC games revenue, however, jumped 40% largely thanks to the release of Cyberpunk 2077.
The chart for December:
On the PC side of the chart the long awaited Cyberpunk 2077 topped the chart, which despite many issues, still raked in a ton of cash.
- Cyberpunk 2077 had the biggest game launch of all time based on digital revenue and digital units sold (10.2M). A successful marketing campaign and the reputation of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt provided the hype necessary for the CD Projekt Red title to break records despite issues including performance problems on consoles, widespread glitches and the indefinite removal of the game from the PlayStation Store. An extremely high share of digital sales (80%) were on PC, likely due to the delisting on PlayStation and overall state of the console versions. Regardless of the short-term financial success, the critical backlash means the developer will now have to invest significant resources fixing the game in order to rehabilitate its image before the launch of its next title. [total subtracts refunds issued]
That ruled the roost on the PC side, which kept League of Legends down in second place for another month.
Then we see World of Warcraft in third place, indicating that they at least held people with the Shadowlands expansion into the first full month. Generally WoW tends to live on the lower half of the chart, so third place is pretty good.
After WoW we get the rest of the usual top four entries on the PC list, Dungeon Fighter Online, Crossfire, and Fantasy Westward Journey Online.
CS:GO saw a surge, ending up in seventh spot for December, followed by Fortnite and its return to the top ten on the PC stack. Fortnite was doing well in December according to SuperData.
- On PC and console, Fortnite earnings were at their highest since August 2020, and player numbers were larger than at any point since August 2019. High-profile events and collaborations continue to draw people to the shooter. December began with a limited-time Marvel Comics event that brought in a record 15.3M concurrent players. This was followed by the release of cosmetic items from franchises including Star Wars, Halo and The Walking Dead.
After that is the redoubtable Roblox and World of Tanks to wrap up the PC side.
On the console column Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which released in November, carried on in first place, followed again by NBA 2K21 again.
Cyberpunk 2077 only managed third place on the console chart, which while respectable, makes me wonder if the refunds for PS4 and XBox One users might have been a drag.
After that there was the perennial list member GTA V. It had another release that pushed sales up yet again.
- The release of the Cayo Perico Heist for Grand Theft Auto V resulted in the game’s highest monthly digital earnings ever. The update for the multiplayer Grand Theft Auto Online mode marked the first time the seven-year-old game received a new open-world area for players to explore. Player numbers also grew 46% from November levels but did not exceed totals achieved earlier in 2020.
And then we find Fortnite, up from tenth spot last month.
On the mobile end of the chart Pokemon Go topped the list, swapping spots with Free Fire, which went down to second position in December. Candy Crush Saga managed to take fifth position on the list, while the long time first place champion, Honour of Kings, remained down in the 9th spot.
Finally, while it did not make the list in December, SuperData once again has a bit to say about Among Us and its success in 2020.
- Among Us player numbers fell from their November peak, but the game was still 2.8 times as popular as the next most-popular game, Roblox. The title also launched on Nintendo Switch in December. This edition sold 3.2M copies and was the highest-earning version of the game for the month.
And that is what SuperData had to say for December.