Category Archives: SuperData Research

SuperData Research Says Gaming was Still Going Strong in June

SuperData Research has released their digital revenue rankings chart for June 2020.  Digital revenue remains strong in the video game market according to the lead item, though PC and consoles were down a bit from March.

  • Digital games generated $10.46B in revenue in June 2020, the second-highest total ever after April 2020’s $10.54B sum. Overall earnings were up 3% from May ($10.2B) and 9% over June 2019 ($9.6B). Both PC and console revenue were down from their 2020 peaks set in March. This was offset by growth in mobile revenue, which hit an all-time high. Mobile game spending typically sees a boost in the summer months, and this seasonal growth was likely further bolstered by the limited availability of other entertainment options due to COVID-19.

The chart itself shows the top ten in each segment they cover.

SuperData Research Top 10 – June 2020

On the PC side of the chart, the usual top four continue to dominate the list, though Dungeon Fighter Online and League of Legends swapped places.

Roblox, which climbed onto the list in April held on to the fifth spot, which it had taken last month.

In sixth place we have Valorant, the new shooter from Riot.  My daughter plays it and describes it as a mash up of CS:GO and Overwatch, though she was yelling at her screen so much I initially thought she must be playing golf.  But I guess it does have the word “rant” in the title.  SuperData called out the game specifically in their notes:

  • Valorant from Riot Games had the biggest launch ever for a free-to-play PC title. The game’s revenue and player numbers put it ahead of what the PC version of Apex Legends achieved in February 2019. Apex Legends did, however, earn more overall at launch due to its console version. Valorant also made more than its closest competitor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in June despite the Valve title having a slightly larger audience. CS:GO user numbers and revenue were also down for the second straight month in June, indicating Valorant is siphoning away players.

This gives Riot two games on the PC list, and might explain why LoL slipped into second place I suppose.

After that we have Fortnite, which is seeing a bit of a resurgence with their new party game mode, World of Warcraft, CS:GO, and The Sims 4World of Tanks, a generally solid entry on the list, fell off for June.

On the console list, The Last of Us II, a PlayStation exclusive, jumped to the top.

  • The Last of Us Part 2 sold 2.8M digital units in June, easily setting the record for exclusive PlayStation launches. The long-awaited sequel surpassed Marvel’s Spider-Man and Final Fantasy VII Remake, which each sold 2.2M digital units in their respective release months. However, sales of TLOU2 are likely to be frontloaded as more than two-thirds of first-month digital sales were preorders, a high share even for a AAA title.

After that is FIFA 20 and then Pokemon Sword & Shield, which launched a paid DLC update that boosted revenue.

  • The Isle of Armor expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield was responsible for the title’s highest monthly digital earnings since launch. The earnings far exceed the highest month of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate additional content revenue. This is the first time a traditional Pokémon game has featured premium additional content, and this new strategy has paid off.

Nintendo also has Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Animal Crossings: New Horizons on the list.  That is unusual for the company and shows them transitioning from their strong retail presence of the past to a bigger digital footprint, no doubt spurred by the pandemic.

In fourth place was GTA V, which SuperData had some concerns about.

  • Grand Theft Auto V revenue on console fell 33% in June, indicating a lack of major updates may be offsetting increased engagement from COVID-19 lockdowns. The last named update to the game, The Diamond Casino Heist, released in December 2019. During that time, spending did rise temporarily in April and May, possibly due to COVID-19 lockdowns, before falling in June. The PC version is on a different performance trajectory and continued to benefit from a free Epic Games Store giveaway in May.

After that comes Fortnite, again doing well, and Destiny 2, which jumped onto the list in sixth place as it too had something new to offer:

  • Destiny 2 revenue and player numbers rose substantially as a result of a new season and announced expansion packs. Preorders for the Beyond Light expansion, currently slated to launch in November, and spending coinciding with a new season of content caused monthly earnings to rise 221% in June to reach the highest level since October 2019. Player numbers also jumped 45% to a record total for the game. The current and announced updates to the game were especially appealing to lapsed players, and millions of users who had previously quit the game returned in June.

On the mobile end of the chart, where all the money is I guess, Peacekeeper Elite, the Chinese market mobile version of PUBG, remained at the top of the list, followed by the previous reigning champ, Honour of KingsPUBG Mobile West also made the list, grabbing the tenth position.  In between Pokemon Go held onto fourth position while Candy Crush Saga dropped down to the ninth spot.

And then for comparison, NPD is back in the saddle still and has their own June numbers chart up.  As always, NPD numbers are US only, combine PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales (where noted).

  1. The Last of Us: Part II
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Red Dead Redemption II
  7. Ring Fit Adventure
  8. NBA 2K20
  9. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  10. Minecraft Dungeons*

*Digital sales on Nintendo eShop not included

That is a very different list in some ways.  Yes, TLOU2 is at the top, because consoles are still the most retail oriented of the platforms and everything on the list is on consoles.  But Pokemon Sword & Shield is nowhere to be seen because the DLC is digital only.  Instead, the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure for the Switch, which has a controller with it, makes the cut, as does Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, an older title, showing that Nintendo still has a foot in the retail space.  ACNH making both the SuperData’s digital list and NPD’s retail only list shows how strong it remains.

SuperData Says Video Games Still Doing Very Well in the Pandemic

SuperData Research has released their digital revenue numbers for May 2020 and the video game market still looks strong.  Not as strong as April, but still way over last year.

  • Digital games revenue totaled $10.2B in May, down 3% from April’s record-breaking total of $10.5B. Games continued their lucrative streak in May even though the month had few major game releases and an easing of COVID-19 lockdowns. Digital console revenue fell 27% from April to May due to fewer new releases, but a 3% growth in mobile earnings offset this gap. Overall spending was still up 14% over May 2019 ($8.9B), with PC up 8%, mobile up 14% and console up 23%.

The chart itself shows that many of the usual suspects remained strong in May.

Digital Revenue only

SuperData Research Top 10 – May 2020

On the PC end of the chart, the same top four titles remained in their usual positions.  But in fifth place Roblox suddenly appeared, jumping up from ninth position in April, followed closely by World of Warcraft, now  in sixth.

Then there is CS:Go, Fortnite, and COD:MW, with World of Tanks making it back on to the list month in tenth position.  Nine our of ten on the list were there last month, with only Doom Eternal dropping off, allowing World of Tanks back on.

On the console front, FIFA 20 climbs back to the top of the list, followed by perennial list member Grand Theft Auto V, which no doubt got a boost from the Epic Store giving it away for a stretch.  Then there is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which holds on to third position, staying at or near the top of the list for three months running now.

Minecraft Dunegons, which did not make the PC list, did break into the console chart in ninth spot, no doubt due to it being available for all major platforms… and having the Minecraft name associated with it.

On the mobile end of the chart Peacekeeper Elite, the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile for China, held on to the top spot, keeping the past champion, Honour of Kings, at bay.  Roblox, strong on this front too, grabbed third spot while Pokemon Go, which fell off the list last month, surged back up into fourth, while long time list member Candy Crush Saga held on in seventh spot.

Then there is NPD, which is finally back after not updating for a couple of months as they adapted to the new reality of Covid-19.  As always, NPD numbers are US only, combine PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales (where noted).

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  4. NBA 2K20
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Red Dead Redemption II
  7. Minecraft*
  8. Final Fantasy VII: Remake
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  10. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order

* Digital sales on Nintendo eShop not included

Comparing that list to SuperData is a bit more interesting this month as the overlap isn’t quite the same.  COD:MW is on top and a few titles that didn’t register with SuperData made the cut.

So it goes.  Video games remain strong during our new abnormal.

SuperData also put up another report earlier this month that took a look at the remaster gravy train that seems to be hitting with things like Final Fantasy VII Remake doing very well.  Those of us who watch the MMO sphere know that, done right, nostalgia can be an evergreen proposition.

The remaining bullet points from SuperData’s digital revenue report for May:

A free giveaway of Grand Theft Auto V on the Epic Games Store caused PC player numbers to jump 245% from April to May. Launched seven years ago, the title continues to be a major draw, and the traffic from the promotion crashed the Epic Games Store. PC player numbers were only a quarter lower than the console version and PC revenue more than doubled as players purchased in-game content. Despite the surge in revenue, however, the console version continues to outearn its PC counterpart 4-to-1.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, another Take-Two Interactive title, was also given away for free on the Epic Games Store and PC player numbers surged 477%. PC revenue grew by 52% thanks to the promotion and the release of new in-game content, including a season pass.

May’s biggest new release, Minecraft Dungeons, attracted 1.8M players — but elements of its business model limited its revenue potential. The Microsoft title, an action role-playing game (RPG) spinoff, did not earn enough to make it to the top 10 PC games of the month and was only number nine on console. The title had a low upfront price ($19.99), and players on Xbox One and PC did not have to purchase the game directly, since it was available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

Peacekeeper Elite from Tencent hit an all-time revenue high and was the highest-earning game overall. The game is a China-localized version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile, which also hit a revenue high during May and is especially popular in markets like India and Southeast Asia. The success of the titles shows there is strong demand for fast-paced multiplayer titles on smartphones. Gamers in North America and Europe may prefer to play these types of games on PC or console, but mobile is the platform of choice for hardcore gamers throughout much of the world.

Pokemon GO spending rose 60% month-over-month to thanks to a combination of warm weather and even more options for playing at home. Earnings for the game typically rise during the summer months, and May 2020 was no exception. Earnings reached their highest point since September 2019 and were up 45% year-over-year. Due to COVID-19, developer Niantic began selling remote raid passes at the end of April, which allowed players to join in-game battles without the need to travel to certain physical locations.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive earnings and player numbers fell from an April all-time-high as competing title Valorant prepared to launch. After months of upward momentum, CS:GO revenue shrank by 9% and user numbers fell 6%. During this time, Valorant, the rival tactical shooter from League of Legends maker Riot Games, was in beta and potentially siphoned away CS:GO players.

SuperData Says Gaming Continues to Do Very Well in the Pandemic

SuperData Research is out with its chart and report on digital revenues for April 2020.

SuperData Research Top 10 – April 2020

As with last month, digital revenue for video games were at record heights

  • Game spending totaled a record-breaking $10.5B in April 2020, showing the continued strength of the medium during the COVID-19 crisis. Lockdowns that began during March had an even greater impact on gaming habits in April as they continued for the entire month in many regions. Revenue was higher than March 2020 and was up 17% over April 2019 ($8.9B). Year-over-year earnings grew on both mobile (up 14%) and PC (up 12%). Console growth was even more substantial (up 42% year-over-year) largely due to strong performances from existing titles.

On the PC end of the chart, League of Legends returned to its usual spot at the top of the list, with revenues reported to be at their highest since February 2017 (see supplementary info at the bottom of the post), followed by the other three usual suspects that own the top four spots every month.

After them however, Doom Eternal, which launched across multiple platforms near the end of March, shows up.

Then there is CS:GO, which continues to hold a rare position for it halfway up the chart.  It generally shows up every so often for a 9th or 10th place bite before disappearing for a bit.

Fortnite is also up the list, having gone absent last month, making it to seventh spot, even getting a call out from SuperData.

  • An in-game concert reinvigorated interest in Fortnite. The limited-time event, Astronomical starring the artist Travis Scott, required players to log in to the game at a specific time to be part of an audiovisual experience. Player numbers grew month-over-month on all platforms, and monthly earnings reached their highest point since May 2019.

Back in February Epic and Tim Sweeney were whining about SuperData’s reporting on Fortnite, claiming their estimates were wrong while declining to offering any data to dispute SuperData’s reports.  I suppose this will make Tim Sweeney feel better.

Then we have World of Warcraft, Roblox, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare rounding out the list.  Gone missing is World of Tanks, which is in the midst of an anniversary celebration with special events.

On the console front Animal Crossing: New Horizons claims the top spot for the second month running.  That is rare for a platform exclusive title, a Switch title (Nintendo customers still buy phyical units primarily), and for a title that isn’t heavily online cash shop focused.  But demand for the game remained strong for a second month as SuperData reports:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons once again sold the most digital units (3.6M) of any game during the month. The Nintendo title has become a cultural phenomenon with major celebrities and an NFL team posting about the game on social media. Digital sales declined a modest 27% in April, but it is now the top Switch title in lifetime digital sales and lifetime digital revenue after only two months on the market.

Following behind Animal Crossing was the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which also sold big despite being another platform exclusive, this time locked into the PlayStation 4.

  • The long-awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake from Square Enix sold a total of 2.2M digital units, setting records for the franchise and for PlayStation exclusives. The share of digital copies sold was extremely high for a single-player game as players had difficulty acquiring physical copies due to factors like store closures. As a result, digital sales at release narrowly surpassed Marvel’s Spider-Man, which previously held the launch digital sales record for a PlayStation 4 exclusive title.

After those two we get into more familiar territory, with FIFA 20, GTA V NBA 2K20, and Fortnite along with expected newcomers Doom Eternal and the Resident Evil 3 remake.

On the mobile end of the chart Peacekeeper Elite, the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile for China, took over the top of the chart, displacing the long reigning Honour of Kings.  Perennial chart member Candy Crush Saga held on in fourth position, but Pokemon Go fell off the chart for April.  It is possible that players, being unable to go outside as readily, may have set the game aside for now, but Niantic has been running a lot of special events and has introduce things like remote raid passes, so they have been trying to hold on.

As for my usual comparison chart from NPD… well… with the collapse of brick and mortar retail it seems that NPD has given up on its monthly chart, as it is heavily driven by physical sales.  They still had their February numbers posted when I last checked.  Like SuperData, they only display their most recent data, so if a year from now you click on that link and see a later chart, that is why.  If you still see February 2020 though… ouch.

So it goes.

I will leave it with that then, adding on the additional items from the SuperData report below”

  • Resident Evil 3, another remake of a late 90’s classic, also performed well, moving 1.3M digital units in April. The Capcom title sold nearly as many digital units at launch as the remake of Resident Evil 2, which sold 1.4M units in January 2019. Resident Evil 3 had notably lower review scores than Resident Evil 2 but likely benefited from the extremely positive reception its recent predecessor enjoyed.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered showed there is still demand for single-player Call of Duty experiences by selling 3.4M units in April. The remaster of the single-player portion of the 2009 title also sold 622K copies the previous month (it did not launch until March 30). The game will likely perform well on Xbox One and PC over the course of May, since it was exclusive to PlayStation 4 until April 30.
  • Lockdowns caused players to return to, and spend on, long-running online titles. Revenue for League of Legends hit the highest level for the game since February 2017. Player numbers for the game also hit an all-time high. Similarly, Grand Theft Auto V saw its highest monthly spending on in-game content ever during April. The title will also see a significant boost to its PC player numbers in May due to a free giveaway that caused the Epic Games Store to crash.

SuperData Charts Gaming Revenue Highs as We All Stay Home

SuperData Research has their monthly chart out for March 2020.  The results and accompanying data are not all that surprising.  With people all over the world stuck at home digital purchases peaked according to the company.

  • Spending on digital games reached $10.0B in March, the highest monthly total ever. Individuals are turning to games as a reliable entertainment option during the COVID-19 crisis and are using online multiplayer to keep in touch with others. Total digital revenue was up 11% year-over-year from March 2019 ($9.0B).

The charts reflect what was most popular last month.

SuperData Research Top 10 – March 2020

On the PC end of the chart the usual top four held on to the summit for yet another month, though League of Legends fell back to second place behind Dungeon Fighter Online.

The first new entry on the list is Doom Eternal, which has gotten a lot of buzz on both PC and console.  CS:GO, which comes and goes from the bottom of the list saw a nice jump as did Borderlands 3, which made the list when it launched, subsequently falling off as many buy to play titles do.

Half-Life: Alyx came in at number eight, which might seem low for something in the Half-Life series, but as a VR title making the cut is impressive.  VR remains a niche element in the market.

And at the bottom of the list are World of Warcraft and World of Tanks.  Both titles have seen more players.  We’ll see if things like WoT‘s 10 year anniversary celebration and WoW‘s throwing a 100% xp bonus at players will boost their standings for April.

On the console column, surprising nobody, Animal Crossing: New Horizons stands at the top.  I would be hard pressed to find a general news outlet that hasn’t reported on it and my Twitter feed was probably 20% mentions of the game the week it launched.  Even SuperData gives it a special mention:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold more digital units in a single month (5.0M) than any console game in history. The Nintendo-published title broke the console record for monthly digital game sales previously held by Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. Animal Crossing: New Horizons also roughly matched the first-month digital sales of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Sword and Shield put together. The game’s combination of social features and a relaxing setting likely appealed to individuals stuck at home. Closures of brick and mortar stores also meant that a higher share of consumers purchased the game digitally compared to past Switch titles.

After Animal Crossing, FIFA 20 continued its run near the top of the list, followed by MLB: The Show 20, which is filling in the gap for baseball fans bereft of a season so far in 2020.  If you can’t have a real season you can run your own, something that people have been doing with a variety of baseball titles.  Out of the Park 21 on PC is popular with the hardcore fans doing that sort of thing.

And at the mobile end of the chart Honour of Kings continued on at the top. (It is one of the most popular games in China and is popular on the streaming front there as well.)  Most of the list carried over from last month, Roblox and Mafia City being the only two titles not on the February chart.  My benchmarks for the list, Candy Crush Saga and Pokemon Go were in third and fifth place respectively.

This is where I usually compare the SuperData charts to what NPD has listed for the month, as NPD includes physical retail sales.  However, NPD hasn’t posted their numbers for March to their site yet, so I will have to give that a pass for now.  I’ll put them in if they do get posted, but right now they still have February listed.  Retail might be causing them problems I suppose.

Instead I will jump to the usual close, which is the bullet points included with the SuperData chart, minus the one I injected in the post above:

  • Premium console and premium PC earnings jumped as lockdowns took effect. Premium console revenue rose 64% from February to March ($883M to $1.5B) and premium PC revenue rose 56% during the same period ($363M to $567M). These game types tend to be most popular in North America and Europe, where COVID-19 prevention measures expanded dramatically in March.
  • Gamers continued to play and spend on mobile titles even as they stayed home. Mobile games revenue was up 15% year-over-year and reached $5.7B during March. Earnings for a number of major mobile titles also grew during the month. For example, Pokémon GO revenue rose to $111M in March (up 18% month-over-month) after publisher Niantic made tweaks to the game to make it easier to play without physically moving.
  • The addition of Warzone to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare resulted in monthly active user numbers for the title jumping 159% month-over-month to reach an all-time high of 62.7M. While most modes in Modern Warfare require an upfront purchase of the game, Warzone, a battle royale mode in the style of games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, is free-to-play.
  • Doom Eternal from id Software sold 3.0M digital units in March, more than three times what Doom sold (957K) during its launch in May 2016. The latest entry in the seminal franchise benefited from strong reviews and the positive reception of its predecessor. However, as a primarily single-player game, Doom Eternal will likely have a shorter revenue tail than other multiplayer shooters that monetize through the regular sale of in-game content.
  • Half-Life: Alyx performed modestly by the standards of AAA games but was a blockbuster by the standards of virtual reality (VR) exclusive titles. A total of 860K gamers played the PC VR title in March. The game had a limited addressable audience, as there was an install base of fewer than 4M PC-compatible VR headsets at the end of 2019. Direct purchases of Half-Life: Alyx generated $40.7M in revenue, and hundreds of thousands of free copies of the game were also bundled with devices like the Valve Index headset to boost interest in VR.

SuperData and the Opening of the Coronavirus

March has become the “stay at home” month for many of us, even in jurisdictions where there has been no official order to do so.  Events have been cancelled, movie theaters shut down (drive-ins are back in vogue though), and we are not going out to do many things we might have otherwise.

And so home activities have gone up.  Netflix and other streaming services are seeing a boost in activity as are video game platforms.  Video game usage is up, Steam has seen a record number of people connected, and XBox Live has fallen over a couple of times due to the sudden surge.

And into this comes the SuperData Research digital revenue chart for February 2020.

SuperData Research Top 10 – February 2020

In February things were starting up around Covid-19.  I was in Portland, Oregon in the middle of the month and once we got back events were starting to get cancelled and the movie box office was already starting to tank.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell much from the main SuperData chart, as it is just a ranking without numbers.  The gaps between games as well as any change for a particular game, is unknown and unmarked unless titles change positions or falls off the list.

So we see the usual suspects on the chart.  At the PC end, the same top four remain in the same order.  CD:GO made it to fifth as Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot had its debut month on the chart then fell off.  World of Tanks surged a bit with some updates and events in February.  World of Warcraft stayed on the list despite troubles reported last month.

And Fortnite returned to the PC end of the chart.  Last month, as Bhagpuss pointed out, Epic Games was bitching to anybody who would listen that the SuperData numbers had to be wrong, though they declined to supply their own numbers and wouldn’t tell us where they thought they should be on the chart or even if they had the data to make that assessment.  Basically Tim Sweeney being Tim Sweeney.

As with the PC end of things, the console and mobile columns of the chart, aside from some jockeying for position, remained mostly made up of the same players, with the same titles topping the lists.  Jedi: Fallen Order and Pokemon Go both made their way back on to their respective charts.

So it will be interesting to see if, come the March numbers, if any of those mostly static lists change any.  Will something new take the public by storm?  Animal Crossing: New Horizons maybe?  Or will people remain set with their old standbys and just spend more time and money there?  Word is that Pokemon Go is already making bank.

The only detail we get is in the bullet points that SuperData provides with their posting.  The opening one did say that digital revenue was up:

  • Digital games spending totaled $9.2B in February, up 4% year-over-year. Much like in recent months, mobile revenue (up 16% year-over-year) made up for lower console and PC revenue (down 22% and 6%, respectively). A release schedule largely devoid of AAA games resulted in limited spending on console games. In comparison, February 2019 featured the launches of major titles like Anthem and Apex Legends, which contributed to the year-over-year revenue drop across the free-to-play (down 49%) and premium console segments (down 17%).

But that was a small bump and mostly in mobile, while the PC and console were down.  But SuperData is not unaware of what is going on in the world and the next three bullet points were related to, or might be related to, the current world situation.

  • The spread of COVID-19 had a limited impact on gaming habits in North America and Europe in February, but this is changing. The most significant containment efforts like business shutdowns and travel restrictions did not ramp up until March. Many titles have since had an influx of players and spending as consumers have turned to games as one of the few entertainment options available.
  • There are signs Japanese consumers gravitated to games over other activities in February. The Japanese versions of Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle and Monster Strike both saw jumps in revenue and user numbers. Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle in particular had its Japanese revenue more than triple from $24.8M in January to $78.0M in February.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive monthly active user numbers climbed to 24.0M, their highest levels ever. Player counts for the nearly eight-year-old title have trended upward consistently since the switch to a free-to-play business model in December 2018. An update to the game in late November 2019, which featured a battle pass and cosmetic character skins, has resulted in monthly revenue that is approaching the game’s previous all-time peak in July 2017. Despite the renewed interest in the title, its surge in player count may not be sustainable given the runaway success of Call of Duty: Warzone and the pending release of Valorant, an upcoming free-to-play shooter from Riot Games.

I expect that next month their analysis will include their own interpretation as to how COVID-19 has impacted the market.

As has become the custom for this post, I will add the NPD February video games chart.  As always, NPD is US only, combines PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 (2)
  2. NBA 2K20 (6)
  3. Grand Theft Auto V (5)
  4. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (1)
  5. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (75)
  6. Mario Kart 8* (8)
  7. Ring Fit Adventure (9)
  8. Madden NFL 20 (3)
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* (7)
  10. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (4)

* Digital sales not included

The following number is the position the game was in last month.  I have tended to ignore that number, but this month I saw that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 had jumped up from 75th on their list, implying that NPD keeps much more detail than they share.

I will be interested to see how this chart changes next month.  If it were physical sales only, it might go completely weird, but as it combines some digital with physical, we might just see Nintendo titles disappear from the mix even as Animal Crossing jumps up onto the SuperData chart.

The remaining bullet points from SuperData:

  • A free giveaway of The Sims 4 for PlayStation Plus users led to the title’s console players outnumbering PC users for the first time (2.5M vs. 2.2M). The title has long earned the lion’s share of its revenue from the sale of in-game content, so the giveaway presented a low-risk way to attract new audience members and potentially convert them to spenders down the road.
  • The social casino title Coin Master achieved its highest earnings ever ($87.1M) as it rose to eighth place in the mobile revenue charts. The game from publisher Moon Active combines slots gameplay with town-building elements. It now vastly out-earns other mobile social casino titles like Slotomania and DoubleDown Casino and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez have appeared in ads for the title.

And so it goes.  We shall see what the March numbers bring and if certain incentives… Blizzard has a 100% xp bonus going for retail WoW right now for example… change anything.

SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions

SuperData Research is out with their January digital sales chart, so it is time to take a look at that.

SuperData Research Top 10 – January 2020

As usual, on the PC end of the chart the top four on the list remained the same.  There was a bit of a shake up as Dungeon Fighter Online and Crossfire swapped spots, but otherwise it is the same four titles.

In fifth position a new title appeared, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, which launched mid-January and jumped onto both the PC and console lists.

CS:GO bounced up into sixth place from its ninth slot position in December.

And in seventh place we find World of Warcraft West.  That is one position higher than December, but we don’t know if that is really meaningful as the rankings do not include any values with them.  However, there was some supplemental information as part of the report from SuperData:

  • The new World of Warcraft update Visions of N’Zoth successfully turned around declining user numbers. Subscriber numbers grew 17% from December to January (not including China). However, they were still down substantially (64%) from August 2019, the month World of Warcraft Classic was released.

This is a turn around from the news we got with the August charts:

  • WoW Classic drives a huge jump in subscribers. World of Warcraft subscription revenue grew an estimated 223% in August compared to July. Despite this, total revenue was still lower than the Battle for Azeroth expansion last August.

This has led to people to interpret what is going on in a lot of way.  The most egregious hot take seems to be that J. Allen Brack was right, nobody wants WoW Classic, and it was a mistake to do it.

Unfortunately, looking in from the outside, it is hard to know what really happened or where the subs went or even what factors have been in play.  A lot of things have happened since WoW Classic launched in August, including the Blitzchung debacle, BlizzCon, and the release of the honor system in WoW Classic, which I am pretty sure killed off a lot of activity on the PvP server.

Like literally every MMO retro server plan executed before it, WoW Classic was always going to drop off after a big surge.  And given how WoW Classic was almost all Blizzard could talk about during the Q4 earnings call earlier this month, it still seems like it was a worthwhile project to somebody.  We won’t ever know what the numbers would have looked like without it.

But will it have been enough, or will the post-launch drop off let the faction within Blizzard who didn’t want WoW Classic shelve any further development down that path.  After all, they also have the Warcraft III Reforged launch as ammo to argue that nostalgia isn’t all that big of a deal.  We shall see. (Though, given the subscription dive, I suspect that WC3R might have been pushed into a premature launch in order recognize revenue on the year-old pre-orders Blizz was sitting on just to make their internal numbers/goals for January.)

It will be interesting to see what Blizzard talks about on the Q1 2020 earnings call come April.

The rest of the PC list saw World of Tanks holding on to its spot, with Roblox and DOTA 2 bringing up the final two spots.

On the Console list FIFA 20 and Call of Duty swapped spots at the top, with Dragon Ball Z: Karkarot jumping up to third there.  The perennial list member Grand Theft Auto V held on to fourth position for another month while Fortnite, which has disappeared from the PC ranks, held on to seventh spot.  But, as we have seen in the SuperData annual reports, the console pie is smaller overall.  It is a smaller pond in which Fortnite remains a big fish.

On the Mobile end of the chart, the Chinese behemoth Honour of Kings returned to the top spot, as Clash of Clans, last months chart topper, fell back to fourth.  Candy Crush Saga grabbed third place, while Pokemon Go dropped off the list completely for January.  We will have to see if the new battle mode and events revive its fortunes on the February chart.

Now is the point when we compare the SuperData chart with the January numbers from NPD.  As always, NPD is US only, combines PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales.

  1. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
  3. Madden NFL 20
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K20
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  8. Mario Kart 8*
  9. Ring Fit Adventure
  10. Red Dead Redemption II

* Digital sales not included

As I have said before, console titles are much more heavily weighted on this list, as they still depend far more on the retail channel, which SuperData does not include.

With that, Dragon Ball Z: Karkarot tops the list, the hot new property on both PC and consoles.  Compared to the SuperData chart, FIFA 20 doesn’t make the cut, but its market isn’t in the US.  And, as often happens, we see a couple more titles for the Nintendo Switch, which seems to rely more heavily on retail than other consoles.  You cannot buy Ring Fit Adventure on digital in any case, as it includes a controller.

And so it goes for another month.  Below are the additional notes from the SuperData Research report:

  • Growing digital games revenue topped out at $9.4B in January 2020, up 3% year-over-year. Mobile earnings rose 13% compared to 2019 levels, offsetting lower PC and console revenue. Console spending was down a steep 42% in the free-to-play segment (due to lower Fortnite revenue) and down 19% in the premium space. January 2020 was a slow period for new console releases compared to January 2019, which saw the launches of Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Resident Evil 2 remake.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot sold 1.6M digital units, a new record for the franchise. In contrast to recent Dragon Ball titles, which were multiplayer fighting games, the new game is a single-player action role-playing game. The genre pivot helped the franchise attract a wider audience, leading to first-month digital sales that were more than double those of any previous Dragon Ball title.
  • Gardenscapes – New Acres climbed to third place on the mobile charts with record revenue of $111.9M. Earnings for the puzzle title from Russian developer Playrix have been rising rapidly and have more than doubled since September 2019. Gardenscapes and its sister title Homescapes are now the puzzle games to beat and currently have greater combined monthly revenue on mobile than all Candy Crush Saga titles.
  • January was a mixed bag for battle royale titles. Fortnite earnings continued their gradual decline and hit their lowest level since November 2017. Likewise, a January update to Apex Legends increased console monthly active users by 12% month-over-month, but the game generated less revenue than in December, which saw a successful holiday event. In contrast, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds released its Season 6 update on both PC and console in January, and PC players responded particularly well. In-game spending grew 512% month-over-month on PC after a lengthy period of low spending on additional content.

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.

 

SuperData Reviews 2019 Digital Revenue

SuperData Research has put out their 2019 year in review summary.  It is available for free over on their Insights page.  You have to fill out a form in order to get access to it… they have to have an email address to harvest for their efforts… but it isn’t a big deal and I have email addresses just for that sort of thing.

The report follows the pattern set by the 2017 and 2018 reports in providing details.  It is more of an ad for their services, but there is some data to be gleaned.  I do wish they would stick to the categories they use for their monthly report.  I mean, they start there with some opening numbers in the summary.

SuperData 2019 Digital Gaming Revenues

Mobile gaming remains the biggest category.  However, past that point things get broken down into more discreet categories… or mashed together into larger ones… so that comparison and alignment with the monthly charts becomes problematic.  The report, which focuses on free to play, dices up the numbers like this to start:

  • Mobile – $64.4 billion
  • Free-to-play PC – $21.1 billion
  • Premium Console – $13.8 billion
  • Premium PC – $5.2 billion
  • Pay-to-play PC – $3.3 billion
  • Free-to-play Console – $1.6 billion

So consoles look a bit sad there, but you have to remember that consoles are also the market segment that remains the most dependent on physical, as opposed to digital, sales.  As we see in the NPD numbers every month, Nintendo can top the charts there with physical sales… with Switch games taking up half the spots on the chart one month… and still have little or no presence on the digital sales side of the house.

And then I am not sure how they really break out the PC market.  PC F2P is pretty easy I guess, as we all know League of Legends and Fortnite and those three China titles that hold the top spots every month.  And I would guess that Premium PC would be buy to play titles, and that we might find things like World of Warcraft over in Pay-to-play PC, but I don’t really know as the report neither provides details nor uses those categories elsewhere, choosing instead to launch into a couple of broader charts.  First up is free to play, which at least lines up to a chart used last year so we have some year over year comparison value in it.

SuperData Free to Play titles 2019

Fortnite tops the lists for 2019.  Despite it not dominating the monthly categories as frequently, it is available as a PC, console, and mobile title, so when you combine all three you get Fortnite on top.  It topped the same chart last year as well, though in 2018 it brought in $2.4 billion as opposed to the $1.8 billion in managed in 2019.  Still a lot of dough.

Dungeon Fighter Online was second again this year, with its revenue going from $1.5 to $1.6 billion, though that change is small enough that it could be from an adjustment in the US Dollar (USD) to Chinese Yuan (RMB), which was up in late 2019 relative to the same period in 2018.  Still, that is fairly steady as the 2017 number was also $1.6 billion.

Honour of Kings is the top mobile exclusive title on the list, also ringing in at $1.6 billion.  It moved up from 6th place last year when it reported $1.3 billion.

And then we get to League of Legends in fourth spot.  While down a position in the chart, its revenues were $1.5 billion, up from $1.4 billion reported in 2018.  That still puts it off its peak number in 2017 when it reported $2.1 billion in revenue.

After that we see perennial members of the mobile chart listing, Candy Crush Saga and Pokemon Go.  Only the last two spots saw new entries on the list, with Game for Peace and Last Shelter: Survival, which replaced Monster Strike and Clash Royale.

Game for Peace is a reworked version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds made specifically for the China market in order to comply with content restrictions around things like blood and gore in video games.  Unlike PUBG, Game for Peace is free to play, which is probably the most practical approach in the Chinese market.

I couldn’t find much information about Last Shelter: Survival, aside from the fact that it is a mobile game from a Chinese company named Long Tech Network., so I am guessing its position on the chart in based on access to the Chinese market.

The other chart lists out the top premium PC and console titles for 2019:

SuperData Premium PC and Console titles 2019

Unsurprisingly, combining PC and consoles ends up favoring titles that are on both PC and consoles.  Literally everything on the this list is available on Windows and at least two consoles, to the point that I wonder if the title of the list literally allows only games that are cross platform.

We have three sports games… with two versions of the same sports game… five shooters, and action-adventure game that could pass for a shooter, and The Sims 4. (Which I was surprised to find out was on consoles and which really ought to have a shooter mode.)

Unlike the free to play chart, this one saw a much bigger shakeup over last year, with only Rainbow Six: Siege, Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (or 4), and FIFA 19 returning. (Though the 2019 chart also had double FIFA entries, with FIFA 18 and FIFA 19 on the list.)  And last year’s chart topper, PUBG, is nowhere to be seen.

The report goes on into some general statements about the digital market, like that 4 out of every 5 dollars spent on digital gaming were for free to play titles and 3 out of every 5 dollars spent was on a mobile title. (Though given those opening numbers, it is closer to 3 out of every 4 dollars.)

Not stated specifically, but available from some of the charts provided that break out revenue by region, Asia is far and away the top spender on mobile games, with 61% share as well as free PC titles, with a 55% share.  When it comes to premium PC titles Europe is the biggest spender with a 46% share.  And, on the console front the US is out in front with 54% of the premium console market and 53% of the free console market.  But the markets where Europe and the US are ahead are also the smallest markets on the list.  If it is big, it is big in Asia, with mobile being especially so.

The report also wanders off into streaming segmentation along with VR and AR markets.  For the former, Twitch and YouTube are the top dogs, with 23% and 22% of the revenue between them.  On the VR and AR side of things, Beat Sabre and Pokemon Go are probably the titles worth mentioning.

Anyway, some data to chew on there.  There is more detail available if you sign up and download the report.

SuperData Shows Fornite Falling but Driving F2P on Consoles Still

SuperData Research is out with their November digital revenue chart.

SuperData Research Top 10 – November 2019

On the PC end of the chart, last month’s top five, including WoW in fifth spot, remained in place.  The new Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, came in at sixth place as EA went against type and made a single player, non-cash shop, good Star Wars title.  The big surprise on the PC side was the disappearance of Fortnite as its star continues to descend.

In the console column, Nintendo and Pokemon ruled the month as Pokemon Sword and Shield rose to the top of the chart.  Nintendo still depends much more heavily on the physical retail channel than its competitors, so topping the digital chart is a feat for them.  Call of Duty held on in second place while Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order had its debut in third position.  Fortnite hung on for console and, as noted below, drives the F2P revenue market there, but continues to slip.

And on the mobile side the top five just changed positions a bit from last month, with Candy Crush Saga going up a spot and Pokemon Go dropping down on.

Once again, we can compare the SuperData chart with NPD’s video game sales data from November in order to get some sort of sense of the market.  As always, NPD is US only, combines PC and console sales, and doesn’t always include digital sales.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  3. Pokemon Sword*
  4. Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Double Pack*
  5. Pokemon Shield*
  6. Madden NFL 20
  7. Death Stranding
  8. NBA 2K20
  9. Need for Speed: Heat
  10. Luigi’s Mansion 3*

* Digital sales not included

I was a bit bemused that Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield wasn’t at the top of the list until I realized that NPD broke it out into three different SKUs for the list.  While the numbers are not available, it seems that Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield did very well in retail if it claimed three spots on the chart without digital sales being included.  You can see why I moan about the removal of Pokemon from the 3DS killed that console.  Pokemon sells.

NPD didn’t get their Speed Run newsletter out this month, so I do not have anything to add there.

But if you are in need of some more numbers, or want some UK sales data, Gamesindustry.biz did a summary of the 2019 UK video games market with plenty of graphs.  I’ll tease that with their first graph, which covers global sales for 2019 (as estimated with data available in October of 2019).

GamesIndustry.biz 2019 Global Revenue Chart

Other items from the SuperData update:

  • Consumers spent $9.5 billion digitally across all games in November. Combined spending across console, PC and mobile was up 5% compared to the same month last year thanks to a 20% year-over-year increase in mobile spending, which represented 59%, or $5.58 billion of all worldwide revenue.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has the best-selling console digital launch in franchise history. The latest installment in the series outsold its 2017 predecessor (Star Wars Battlefront II) by more than 2 to 1, selling 2.14 million digital units in November alone. The title’s first-month success is partially attributable to increased consumer awareness of the franchise (The Mandalorian, The Rise of Skywalker) and a series return to single-player only gameplay.  
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC finds meek interest on Epic Games Store. Red Dead Redemption 2 sold 408K units as a first-month exclusive on the Epic Games Store, paling in comparison to other exclusive launches like Borderlands 3, which sold 1.78 million units in its debut month.
  • The free-to-play console segment continues to decline, drops 41% compared to the same month last year. Global spending in free-to-play console games shrank to $84.7 million in November, which largely comes from Fortnite ongoing descent after a record-breaking year in 2018. Despite waning consumer interest,  Fortnite remains the primary market mover for the free-to-play console segment, generating 51% of its year-to-date revenue in 2019.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield cruises past Link’s Awakening to become the top-selling Nintendo title in 2019. Pokémon Sword and Shield sold 2.72M units in its first month, beating out other first-party exclusives like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening to lead the charge for Nintendo this holiday season.

 

SuperData Shows Fornite Reviving a Bit

SuperData has their digital revenue numbers out for October.

SuperData Research Top 10 – October 2019

On the PC side of the chart, League of Legends regained its top spot, returning the top four to their usual ordering, with the three big Asian titles behind.

Right after that is World of Warcraft West (so no China) ringing in at number five, no doubt still going strong on the WoW Classic momentum.  That put it ahead of its new corporate sibling, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.  It had a big launch, but is much more a console title.

Then there is Fortnite in seventh, up two spots from last month, but still far back from that fifth place position it held for several months earlier this year.

After that is perennial list member World of Tanks, followed by Obsidian’s new space RPG, The Outer Worlds.  And tenth position went to the aging but strong Roblox.

In the console column Call of Duty: Modern Warfare took the top spot with a big launch last month.  This is where the Activision side of the house makes a lot of their annual revenue, so they need a big win with CoD every year.

Fortnite managed sixth place for console revenue, ahead of Borderlands 3, which held on for a second month, keeping it ahead of console stalwart Grand Theft Auto V.

And then at the mobile end of the chart, Honour of Kings returned to its top position after being dethroned last month.  It is another “big in China” title.  Candy Crush Saga popped up into third place, while Pokemon Go fell from second to fourth.  The number one mobile title for September, Fate/Grand Order, dropped off the list completely.  It has been something of a mercurial title on the mobile chart.

We can again compare that to NPD’s October charts.  As always, the NPD charts are US only, combine console and PC, ignore mobile, and do not include digital revenue where noted.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. The Outer Worlds
  3. Luigi’s Mansion 3*
  4. Madden NFL 20
  5. NBA 2K20
  6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
  7. WWE 2K20
  8. FIFA 20
  9. Borderlands 3
  10. Ring Fit Adventure*

* Digital sales not included

As one might expect, CoD is there on the top of  that chart as well, but so is The Outer Worlds and Luigis’ Mansion 3, all new titles for October.  Other new titles on their list are WWE 2K20 and the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure, which goes along with their new Ring-Con and Leg Strap peripherals.

On the NPD social media impressions measure, League of Legends was at the top, followed by Fortnite, CS:GO, GTA V, and World of Warcraft.

I expect that next month we will be hearing about Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, which has been reported as having an extremely strong sales start in November.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare might face some competition for the best selling title.

Other items from the SuperData Report:

  • Consumers spent $8.84 billion digitally across all games in October. Combined spending across console, PC and mobile was down 3% year-over-year primarily due to a sharp drop off in the console segment, which faced a difficult comparison against the Red Dead Redemption 2 launch last year. Mobile grew 7% as it continues to be a growth leader for digital games.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has best selling digital launch of 2019. Modern Warfare sold an estimated 4.75 million digital units across console and PC in October, down 11% from Black Ops 4 last year, although there were fewer days this year due to a later launch in the month. The average selling price of digital units also declined from last year due to the lack of a season pass bundle.
  • Apex Legends has its best month since the title’s launch quarter.  Apex Legends generated $45 million from in-game spending in October across console and PC, up from $16 million in September. Respawn’s shooter has clearly grown into an important growth driver for EA since its launch in February, although we note that total lifetime revenue still comes in slightly below 50% of FIFA Ultimate Team over that same period.
  • NBA 2K continues to show a slow-down in virtual currency sales. Total franchise NBA in-game spending growth has been slowing down for the past four months after a red hot start from NBA 2K19 last year. We saw this again in October, where NBA 2K in-game spending across console, PC and mobile combined declined year-over-year for the first time since June 2018.
  • Call of Duty Mobile catapults into the top rankings. We estimate COD Mobile generated $57 million in total revenue in October with 116 million monthly active users, placing it as the 12th top grossing mobile game worldwide this month. iOS made up 82% of total spend.