It’s common knowledge in the gaming industry that digital downloads of games are rapidly becoming an important factor in console game sales, with EA and other publishers noting that full game downloads on consoles are now upwards of 15 percent of total sales. Still, there’s been a lack of data regarding those sales — usually all we see are some vague numbers during an earnings report, nothing like the detailed sales reports at retail that NPD has been providing for years. Nothing, that is, until today.
SuperData, the leading provider of market intelligence on playable media and digital games, today announced earnings for the top 10 digital games on current and last generation consoles. The company has been able to reach agreements to get the data on digital downloads, which is of great importance as traditional publishers continue the transition from retail to digital sales. SuperData announced that the worldwide market for games downloaded on consoles reached $263 million in January, up 14 percent from the same month a year earlier.
SuperData noted that, with total worldwide earnings of $49 billion, the digital games market now constitutes the majority of revenues in interactive entertainment. “As consumer spending continues to shift away from retail, the landscape of top performing games is shifting with it. Despite its traditional reliance on retail distribution and marketing, the data shows that releasing titles digitally on consoles provides a valuable long-tail for existing franchises and smaller, innovative titles,” according to SuperData CEO, Joost van Dreunen. Looking at the list, van Dreunen pointed to the big surprises in January as Dying Light (Warner Bros.) and Resident Evil HD Remaster (CAPCOM) with $12 million and $11 million in total digital sales across consoles, respectively.
SuperData, of course, will provide a more detailed report for those willing to pay for the data. In addition to a monthly overview of top earners, the paid-for version of the report also provides a further breakout, including full game downloads and additional content revenue on a title-level basis, across platforms and geographies. Subscribers already received this month’s figures.
“What allows us to publish this list today is that we’ve reached critical mass with our data collection. With the help of our client network and data providers, the data necessary to release a reliable monthly overview of key performers on digital console is now available. We’ve been providing our customers with similar information on free-to-play, mobile and PC for years, but being able to now do the same for digital console is a historic moment. There’s been a vacuum in leadership when it comes to a clear picture of the digital market. We’re committed to moving digital console forward,” said van Dreunen.
This information is important not only to publishers, but developers as well, who are trying to decided where development efforts should be focused. Now there’s some data from digital sales on consoles that can be compared to the numbers coming from mobile platforms, and that’s great news for those trying to decide where to place development bets.
Key findings for the month of January include:
- The worldwide digital console market reached $263 million in sales, led by Grand Theft Auto: V ($32 million) and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($23 million).
- Top 10 titles generated $133 million in sales, approximately 51 percent of worldwide sales.
- Despite only being released on the PS4 and Xbox One, Warner Bros. Dying Light earned $12 million in digital console sales.
- The PlayStation console family (PS3 and PS4) claimed 63 percent of digital console sales.