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Digital game sales jump 14% to $6.7 billion in October - SuperData

Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Mafia 3 and Gears of War 4 were big drivers of digital revenue

With continued reports of declines at retail this holiday season, it appears that a solid chunk of sales is being diverted to the digital market. The newest report from the digital trackers at SuperData has revealed a sizable 14% jump in digital game sales in October, leading to a total of $6.7 billion. Thanks to a big month in AAA console gaming, titles like Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Mafia 3 and Gears of War 4 pushed console digital revenue to $628 million, representing a 27% year-over-year increase. Even more impressive was the PC premium market, which rose 78% to $529 million, thanks in part to the strong performance of Civilization VI, a PC exclusive.

On the mobile side, revenue increased 15% year-over-year to $3.1 billion, while F2P revenue was up 4% to $1.5 billion. The losers for the month were the Pay-to-play segment, which declined 12% year-over-year to $219 million, "with World of Warcraft's boost from the Legion expansion already wearing off," and the "stagnant" social games market, which saw $618 million in revenue, down from $624 million in October 2015.

Aside from the full AAA slate, another reason for the digital gains in October, according to SuperData, was that several companies pushed Halloween promotions aggressively. "This October had one of the industry's largest holiday promotions with publishers ranging from Activision-Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) to Riot and Niantic releasing Halloween-themed content across multiple platforms. Both of Electronic Arts' major sports titles, FIFA 17 and Madden NFL 17, offered Halloween-themed Ultimate Team cards with upgraded stats for specific players. As a result, conversion rates for FIFA 17 on Console increased, pushing additional content revenue to $35 million. Blizzard's new hit Overwatch also released over 100 new cosmetic items and a new co-op game mode where players teamed up to fight zombies, witches, and a Dr. Frankenstein-themed villain complete with his stitched-up monster, causing additional content revenue to jump 29% month-over-month," the firm explained. "Holiday-themed content/bundles are an increasingly valuable promotional tool for major publishers."

Here are the top-selling digital titles by category for October:

PC

  1. League of Legends
  2. Crossfire
  3. World of Warcraft
  4. Dungeon Fighter Online
  5. Sid Meier's Civilization VI
  6. Overwatch
  7. Battlefield 1
  8. World of Tanks
  9. DOTA 2
  10. Fantasy Westward Journey Online II

Console

  1. Battlefield 1
  2. FIFA 17
  3. Mafia III
  4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K17
  7. Destiny
  8. Gears of War 4
  9. FIFA 16
  10. Star Wars Battlefront

Mobile

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. Clash Royale
  3. Monster Strike
  4. Clash of Clans
  5. Mobile Strike
  6. Game of War: Fire Age
  7. Fantasy Westward Journey
  8. Candy Crush Saga
  9. Puzzles & Dragons
  10. Clash of Kings

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