While gaming has plenty of new companies that are thriving thanks to digital gaming, some of the most familiar names are making the most money.
Digital games generated $1.1 billion in revenues in January, according to market-research firm SuperData. This comes thanks to carryover from the end-of-year spending rush and the general strengthening of the digital marketplace for games. With an overall gaming market that is worth tens of billions of dollars, digital is playing a crucial part in ensuring that interactive entertainment continues to grow. And the traditional console and PC publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision, and Take-Two have all positioned themselves to take advantage of digital.
“Downloadable content on PC and consoles continued the market’s momentum, totalling $372 million in sales — up from 18 percent from January a year ago,” SuperData lead researcher and founder Joost van Dreunen said.
Nearly every single publisher reported record digital earnings over their last fiscal quarters, showing that consumers are increasingly leaving disc-based spending habits behind.
“Digital revenue reigned supreme among legacy publishers during this quarter’s earnings calls,” said van Dreunen. “[These companies all] beat market estimates with their digital success.”
FIFA and Madden publisher EA announced that it made a whopping $693 million from digital revenues during the three-month period from October through December. That’s more than 25 percent higher than what financial analysts were expecting.
Call of Duty company Activision benefitted from the release of the latest entry in that shooter franchise. It also got a larger boost from the sales of the Warlords of Draenor expansion for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online game as well as the 16 million registered players for Destiny.
Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive reported $217 million in earnings from digital sales. That’s a 64-percent increase year-over-year. The company’s open-world crime franchise helped lead that growth with its first foray into digital goods and virtual currency in GTA Online.
Finally, even Japanese publisher Capcom, which has struggled to release hits in its established franchises over the last few years, scored a big win with the release of Resident Evil HD Remaster — which was the top-selling game on PlayStation Network last month.