As we near the end of July SuperData Research has their monthly digital revenue chart for June available, so it is time to take a look at that.
On the PC end of the chart some things stayed the same when compared to April and May. Basically the top five titles remained in the same order. The “LDFCF” remains solid. Repetition is dull though, so the interesting part is slots 6-10.
World of Tanks, which seems to live in the 6-8 range, popped up one place to 6th as sales of Total War: Subsided.
In 7th position we have the return of World of Warcraft… or World of Warcraft West… what ever that means in the reporting sense.
WoW had gone missing from the chart in April and May, helping to cement speculation that the Battle for Azeroth expansion had been less than a success with the player base. Even from where I sit it is hard to deny that mistakes were made. But for June it is back.
Was that because the long awaited 8.2 patch and the ability to unlock flying in the expansion had finally arrived? Did the approach of WoW Classic and the load tests get people to re-up? Or did Blizz fiddle the numbers in April and May so that other titles from its stable would get attention? One notable thing about those two charts is that WoW went away and Hearthstone appeared one month and Overwatch the next. Blizz controls the data that is released on revenues, so this could have been an attempt to show they are not still just a one product company. Or maybe not.
In 8th place if newcomer FIFA Online 3, followed by perennial bottom of the list contender DOTA 2, and Roblox, which pops onto the list every now and then, taking 10th place.
And, to quickly summarize, Fortnite and FIFA 19 maintained their spots at the top of the console chart, with GTA V continuing to place mid-pack (expect it to pop next month with the new casino update for online), while Pokemon Go, with anniversary celebrations kicking off in June, made it to 2nd on the Mobile end, up from 7th, while Candy Crush Saga fell from 2nd last month to 4th in June.
Basically I want to get back to PC topics and bring up an Overwatch revenue tweet from SuperData earlier this week that gave us the revenue build up for the game over its three years since launch.
Leaving aside box sales, which I am sure followed the usual pattern of an early spike followed by a low rumble afterwards, Overwatch has successfully crossed the billion dollar mark. That is a hell of an achievement. It is interesting to see the PC side lead the console side by what looks like a ratio of 3 to 1. I wonder if that also happens to represent the breakout of the player base.
But I am also reminded that WoW had multiple consecutive billion dollar revenue years over its life and, were Blizz to break out the numbers, I would bet that it is still good for more than half that much revenue during an expansion year and not a ton less for an off year. The subscription model is still pretty good when you can make it work. Or, if you don’t want to go that route, you might need to sell champions like League of Legends, which still surpasses a billion annually selling those and skins.
Again, Overwatch is a big success, but you can kind of see why it only makes the SuperData chart on rare occasions. It stands among giants.
On to other things… like the NPD chart for June. As always, the NPD chart combines PC and console titles, covers US domestic sales only, and is both retail and digital, but both categories are not available for everything on the list, as noted below.
- Super Mario Maker 2*
- Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- NBA 2K19
- Mario Kart 8*
- Days Gone
*No digital data
The thing to note this month is how bizarrely different the two sets of charts are. We can discount the digital titles that NPD does not appear to be getting data from, which is pretty much the entire PC column. The only overlap is GTA V, NBA 2K19, and Days Gone, all like from console sales, and they aren’t even ranked in the same order.
Meanwhile, SuperData is clearly not getting data from Nintendo or, if they are, then digital sales are not as big on the Switch as they are on other consoles. But the Switch is definitely on its own plane of existence. Maybe they’re what is keeping GameStop alive these days.
For EEDAR’s social media impressions League of Legends fell off the list completely, with the top spot taken over by Fortnite, followed by Grand Theft Auto V. The rest of the list included CS:GO, Overwatch, and Minecraft. DOTA 2 also fell off the list this month. Social media impressions do not correspond to sales, but are a measure of how much hype and talk games are getting on the various social media services.
Finally, news items included with the SuperData monthly report:
- Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has one of the best launches in genre history. We estimate Crash Team Racing sold 552,000 digital units worldwide in June despite launching late into the month, marking the second-best launch month of any racing game on console, behind Ubisoft’s The Crew 2 in 2018. Digital sales were likely boosted by the above-average download rates seen so far this year but also point to the sustained popularity of the Crash Bandicoot IP.
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege‘s player base is as strong as ever. June was Rainbow Six‘s best month for Monthly Active Users and sixth-best month for in-game spending on the back of the Operation Phantom Sight update, despite the title being well into its fourth year. Total in-game revenue rose to $36.8 million across console and PC in June, an increase of 50% from May and 9% from June of last year.
- Overwatch surpasses $1 billion from in-game spending. Blizzard’s MOBA shooter became the 64th game on either console, PC or mobile to generate over $1 billion from in-game content alone. Overwatch is also Activision Blizzard’s sixth IP to hit this mark, after World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Destiny, Candy Crush and Hearthstone.
- Publishers are experimenting more with steep discounts. As the free-to-play business model continues to take mindshare in the industry, publishers seem more open to significantly lowering unit prices for catalogue AAA franchises in order to expand the player base. EA’s Sims 4 and Take-Two’s NBA2K19, two franchises that benefit immensely from add-on content purchases, both saw huge spikes in unit sales after prices were brought down below $5.