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World of Warcraft up, League of Legends down

Superdata's August digital report says Blizzard's MMORPG enjoying highest Western subscriber base since 2014 while Riot Games' cornerstone on pace for worst full year performance in just as long

Game industry market intelligence firm Superdata today released its Worldwide Digital Games Market report for August, showing a reversal of fortunes for a pair of aging blockbusters.

According to the newly added Nielsen subsidiary, Blizzard's World of Warcraft brought in $161 million in the month off the debut of its Battle for Azeroth expansion. The mid-month release of the expansion also pushed Western subscribers for World of Warcraft (defined by Superdata as all regions except China and Asian markets where the game is published by Netease) to their highest since 2014. (After the 2014 expansion Warlords of Draenor debuted, Activision Blizzard reported World of Warcraft having more than 10 million subscribers.)

At the same time, another tenured global blockbuster has been trending downward. Superdata reports that with the year two-thirds over, Riot Games' League of Legends is on pace to have its worst performance since 2014, with revenue down 21% year-over-year. The decline in performance adds to a difficult year for Riot Games, which has already seen its reputation diminished by reports of a toxic studio culture from the executives on down while it continues to run its esports operations at a loss.

Other games that had a noteworthy August included EA's Madden 19, which set a new franchise record for digital sales during launch month with 664,000 copies downloaded on consoles. However, Superdata did note that this year's game went on sale about two weeks earlier in the month than usual.

The PC debut of Monster Hunter World proved to be a winner for Capcom, as the best-selling game in the company's history chalked up another 2 million sales on PCs, dethroning PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds from the top of Superdata's premium PC rankings.

Superdata said for the full month, consumers around the world collectively spent $8.47 billion on digital gaming, up 7% year-over-year. That boost was primarily driven by pay-to-play PC games (World of Warcraft in particular) and free-to-play console games (Fortnite). Free-to-play PC games and social gaming both saw single-digit percentage declines in revenue.

PC:

  1. Dungeon Fighter Online
  2. World of Warcraft
  3. League of Legends
  4. Monster Hunter: World
  5. Crossfire
  6. Fantasy Westward Journey Online II
  7. Fortnite: Battle Royale
  8. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  9. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  10. World of Tanks

Console:

  1. Fortnite: Battle Royale
  2. FIFA 18
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Madden NFL 19
  5. Call of Duty: WWII
  6. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
  7. Divinity: Original Sin 2
  8. Overwatch
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  10. NBA 2K18

Mobile:

  1. Honour of Kings
  2. QQ Speed
  3. Pokemon Go
  4. Knives Out
  5. Fantasy Westward Journey
  6. Clash Royale
  7. Fate/Grand Order
  8. Monster Strike
  9. Clash of Clans
  10. Candy Crush Saga

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