A report on worldwide digital game spending across every platform has shown spending has dipped across every platform. Consumers spent $8.7 billion digitally on games across console, PC and mobile in May, down four per cent year-on-year (YoY). The biggest loss affected mobile sales, which saw profits fall by 6 per cent.
While Fortnite saw a boost to numbers with the launch of Season 9, it is “still far off from its peak”. Generating $203 million across console, PC and mobile, earnings were up significantly from April 2019, but remain 38 per cent down from May 2018. According to the research, console sales continue to contribute the largest share of players and revenue.
Interestingly, the stats by SuperData tell of a similar downturn across the full sector, which fell four per cent from May 2018. The analysis also showed that FIFA Ultimate Team revenue declined year-over-year, with an estimated in-game spending of $93 million across console and PC in May, down YoY. While some of this can be attributed to the anomalous impact of the World cup mode this time last year, SuperData notes “World Cup performance weakened over time and will likely lead to more favourable comparisons in the coming months”.
Interestingly, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to sell millions of units. The analysis states PUBG has sold 4.7 million digital units across PC and console year-to-date through May, “maintaining its position as one of the best selling shooter titles on any platform despite losing much of the spotlight to EA’s Apex Legends and Fortnite”.
Epic Games’ earned $69 million through its fan-favourite battle royale game in just December last year, during which it was downloaded 5.2 million times. Up 52 per cent from November 2018 – and up 83 per cent on its previous strongest month – making it Fortnite’s biggest month to date.
The release of EA’s Apex Legends – a free-to-play battle royale game set within the Titanfall universe – initially seemed to affect Fortnite’s trajectory. Its sudden release made a huge impact, attracting one million unique players in the first eight hours, and then hit 10 million users – one million concurrent players – but while it was the most popular game on Twitch for a short while, it hasn’t been enough to fully dethroned battle royale king, Fortnite.