The games industry is off to a fine start in 2016, at least when looking at the digital side of things. Tracking firm Superdata today reported that digital game sales for January were $6.3 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year.
Every category showed growth year-over-year, with the exception of social games (like Doubledown Casino and Candy Crush Saga) and pay-to-play MMOs (such as World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic). The digital PC and console categories were particularly strong, respectively growing 33 percent and 30 percent year-over-year as customers continue to embrace purchasing downloadable games over their physical counterparts.
As for what games drove those results, the top trio on the console side consisted of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, FIFA 16, and Grand Theft Auto V, in that order. On the PC side, the top games were Starcraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Fallout 4. The PC launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider debuted in fourth on the PC chart, but Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunen singled it out as a surprising over-performer.
"As one of Square Enix' most visible franchises, the Tomb Raider franchise performed in January, receiving both strong industry recognition and benefitting from a seasonal lull of triple A games," van Dreunen said. "Initial sales numbers on digital console for Rise of the Tomb Raider were soft, due to sharing its release date with Fallout 4 and its exclusivity to Xbox One. The game sold almost three times as many units on PC than it did on console during its first month."