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More consumers are turning to digital downloads of games, but it’s the same old names that are benefiting on home consoles.
The digital game market generated $1.02 billion in revenues last month, according to industry intelligence firm SuperData Research. That is up 18 percent year-over-year. Most of that growth, as usual, comes from mobile, console, and PC — and all three of these sectors were able to offset the continually shrinking social-gaming space on desktop. The global gaming industry is worth more than $90 billion, and more of this cash is going digital than ever before. And publishers with big-name games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are absorbing most of that.
Here’s SuperData’s list of the highest grossing digital console releases:
“Following one of the best editions of [the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade event] in years, the overall market proved robust as digital game sales were up,” SuperData chief executive Joost van Dreunen said. “Generally speaking, Western engagement with mobile games often falls during the summer, but last month’s mobile revenue was up 4 percent over May.”
That propelled mobile revenues up 20 percent year-over-year to $367 million. And this surge didn’t come at the expense of console and PC gaming, which at $314 million is up 30 percent compared to June 2014.
“The big winner this month was Bethesda, which managed to do well both on console and mobile,” said van Dreunen. “Previously only available on PC and Mac, its newly released console version of The Elder Scrolls Online [like World of Warcraft, it’s a massively multiplayer online role-playing game] sold 138,000 digital copies.”
That game was enough to push the market for non-free-to-play MMOs to $50 million, which is up 7 percent year-over-year. And The Elder Scrolls Online was able to make an impressive debut on consoles and come in just behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto V on the top digital games list.
It’s important to point out that this list represents all digital revenue for a game. So, for the top-earning Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, this includes the full digital game, its downloadable map packs, and cosmetic items like character skins. Advanced Warfare was one of the best-selling games last year, so it has a large audience that is engaged and spending money on that bonus content. That also goes for Grand Theft Auto V, which is making most of its digital revenue from selling in-game currency that people can use in GTA: Online.
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