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Worldwide spend on digital games falls 6% YoY due to ‘tepid performance’ of big franchises

Digital games have generated $8.4 billion in January 2019 across console, PC, and mobile platforms, a dip of 6 per cent since this time last year.

According to a report by industry analysts SuperData (via GI.biz), PC saw the biggest drop – 29 percent year-over-year – while console saw a fall of 3 per cent, which the company attributes to a "tepid performance from top premium console franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, FIFA and Overwatch".

Despite its strong showing throughout 2018, and particularly towards the end of the year, Epic Games’ fantastically popular Fortnite saw its revenue drop by 48 per cent month-over-month, although "sales are still up significantly year-over-year".

Fortnite has reportedly earned $455 million on iOS in 2018, earning Epic roughly $1.6 million every day since it launched on the Apple store in March 2018. 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 report also suggests that Red Dead Redemption 2 Online – albeit still in beta – "fails to pick up momentum", and saw its revenue fall by 14 per cent month-over-month in January "due in part to declining MAU levels". Combined sales from both RDR2 Online (beta) and GTA V Online – which still makes about five times more than RDR2 Online (beta) via in-game spending – were flat year-over-year versus GTA V Online alone last January.

In other news, the analysts report that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unit sales declined "sharply", down as much as 83 per cent from December, although in-game spend is up MoM as players snap up the Fighter Pass. And finally, despite a boost in player numbers, Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s revenue has fallen "considerably" YoY "as new users showed lower conversion for in-game spending" despite the title now being free-to-play.

Here’s January 2019’s top grossing games, disaggregated by platform: 

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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