Digital games sales for November up 13%, earning $6.7bn overall

Digital game sales worldwide generated $6.7bn in revenue in November 2016, an increase of 13 per cent year-on-year, according to a new report from SuperData Research.

Mobile, premium, PC, console and free-to-play MMOs all experienced year-year-on-year growth in November, but console games were the biggest winner, gaining 35 per cent compared to November 2015. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 were among the biggest contributing factors to this growth, even though Infinite Warfare’s digital sales ended up being 27 per cent down from Black Ops III in the same month last year.

FIFA 17, Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Black Ops III were the other big digital console winners in November, with Watch Dogs 2, NBA 2K17, Madden NFL 17, Gears of War 4 and Destiny rounding out the top ten.

Infinite Warfare didn’t perform so well on PC, however, which had a knock-on effect on premium digital PC sales. This sector grew just 18 per cent year-on-year according to SuperData, but could have been higher if Infinite Warfare had performed better.

In fact, Infinite Warfare didn’t even break into the top ten in last month’s digital premium PC chart. At the top was League of Legends, with Crossfire in second and Dungeon Fighter Online in third. World of Warcraft was the fourth highest grossing digital PC title, while Battlefield 1 came in fifth.

Despite its success during the year as a whole, Overwatch only reached sixth place last month, but it still beat World of Tanks, DOTA 2, Fantasy Westward Journey Online II and Counter Strike: Global Offensive in the top ten rankings.

Meanwhile, mobile grew 19 per cent year-on-year in November, with Pokmon Go being the biggest earner at $128m.

The wider industry, however, isn’t looking quite so optimistic. The UK games industry is down 14 per cent year-on-year to dateboth in terms of units and overall value.

Likewise, the US video games industry saw a drop of 24 per cent year-on-year in November spending this year, generating $1.97bn overall. This is down from $2.6bn in November 2015. This was once again due to rather lacklustre performances from the month’s top three selling titles (Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battlefield 1 and Pokmon Sun and Moon), but the rest of the top ten looked a little healthier with combined sending across the rest of the best-selling titles growing by 12 per cent compared with a year ago.

"Consumer preferences are changing and the impact is becoming more apparent," SuperData analyst Joost van Dreunen told MCV. "Digital console monetizes well beyond just unit sales. Titles like FIFA, which are very popular in the UK, generates the bulk of revenues through Ultimate Team, which is all digital income."

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