Despite a mobile slowdown, US digital game revenue grew 6.4 percent year-over-year in February across console, PC and mobile, while console digital revenue alone grew 18 percent year-over-year. The worldwide digital games market grew slightly in February, according to SuperData’s latest report, rising four percent year-over-year to $7.83 billion. The analyst firm attributes this growth to a nine percent YoY growth in the mobile segment and eight percent YoY growth in console segments—balanced by shrinking pay-to-play, free-to-play and social segments in February.
Launching February 14, Ubisoft’s For Honor sold more than 700,000 digital units across console and PC, debuting at number seven on SuperData’s top 10 console rankings. EA’s FIFA 17 held the number one spot for console sales in February, and the game’s Ultimate Team console revenue had another month of double-digit growth due to a 15 percent year-over-year rise in monthly active users and an uptick in both conversion and ARPPU, SuperData reported. Digital revenue for FIFA 17 grew double digits in February, when comparing the same month last year for FIFA 16.
Hearthstone, Activision Blizzard’s hit digital collectible card game experienced its worst month on mobile since releasing on both Android and iOS smartphones in 2014. Revenue is down significantly year-over-year and month-over-month, according to the report, which describes the game’s downfall as “killing itself.”
“Recent gameplay decisions have been unpopular with the Hearthstone community,” SuperData observed, “and the result has been a sharp decrease in conversion on mobile. Desktop revenue is also down, but to a lesser extent, perhaps due to the more ‘hardcore’ demographic on PC.”
Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare did much better, leading the way for the most additional content revenue in February thanks to its first DLC release, DLC1: Sabotage. Meanwhile, EA’s Battlefield 1 led the first-person shooter genre in terms of digital units sold, selling more across console and PC in February than Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Titanfall 2 combined.
Priorities are changing, as gamers value additional content and long-term relationships with their favorite titles. More titles are staying relevant long after release, as indicated by Grand Theft Auto V coming in at number three and Call of Duty: Black Ops III coming in at number five for console sales last month.
“As indicated yet again by GameStop’s (GME) recent earnings, the shift to digital and the longer time players are staying with existing titles thanks to DLC releases is having a massive impact on the retailer’s ability to stay relevant when it comes to games,” said SuperData.