FIFA 16 and Metal Gear Solid V dove into the top five games for digital downloads in September, but some other older titles still show impressive staying power.
SuperData Research released its monthly report card on digital game revenue this morning, tracking PC, console, mobile, and social download revenues worldwide. Overall dollars were up 11 percent year over year, with $5.4 billion in digital sales last month.
Digital console sales helped drive the rise, with 29 percent year over year increases. This was mostly the result of more people buying full games digitally rather than just content updates, SuperData chief executive Joost van Dreunen said. Full-game digital sales were up 39 percent year over year.
FIFA 16 led digital sales on console, SuperData’s report said. But it was followed by last year’s sci-fi hit Destiny, which saw a bump of core game sales with the release of the critically praised The Taken King expansion; and 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V, which launched a combination of low-price sales and new challenge modes in September.
“What jumped out at me was the incredible momentum behind digital console sales. … This is just a few years after a lot of people were speculating about the ‘death of the console,'” van Dreunen said. “Not only is the current install base well above expectations, but both publishers and consumers alike have adopted digital distribution.
“For example, Destiny: The Taken King drove sales up massively, tripling month-over-month. That’s a really strong sign of life for an industry that was assumed dead not too long ago.”
On PC, Metal Gear Solid V ruled, followed by Mad Max. Other lists (free massively multiplayer online role-playing games, paid MMOs, mobile games) were largely stable, though SuperData added East vs. West digital sales.
Pay-to-play MMO income was down 8 percent, likely due to World of Warcraft’s ongoing subscription declines. But mobile games were responsible for the largest total dollar increase among all categories: Their 9 percent year-over-year rise boosted the category to $2 billion in sales.
Van Dreunen said SuperData expects to see the bestsellers list shift substantially over the next month during the hot holiday launch season.