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Black Friday 2020 digital games spending saw 10% decline

More than 13% decline in digital console earnings likely driven in part by limited next-gen console supply

Despite expectations of a next-gen console launch driving spending across the board, Black Friday weekend 2020 actually saw year-over-year declines in digital spending, according to data shared by SuperData.

In total, digital games spending from Black Friday through Cyber Monday reached $3.9 billion, down 10% year-over-year.

PC games spending was up 6%, but this was offset by a 13% decline in console spending, likely in no small part due to supply constraints on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S pushing potential buyers to wait to purchase digital software.

"The current console transition is more seamless than past ones, with both console families allowing players to purchase a game on an older device and upgrade to the new-gen version at a later point," reads a blog post from SuperData.

"However, some gamers appear to be waiting to get a new console before starting recent major titles. In order to experience the whole game in the best possible way, they are holding off on purchasing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions entirely."

The market intelligence firm also highlights the growth of subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass as a cause of decreased digital spending.

Physical games spending appears to have seen a similar impact, at least in the UK, with boxed game sales down 20% year-over-year over the seven-day period.

That said, digital game sales are still on track to a record-breaking year, with SuperData reporting that US digital spending alone was up 32% year-over-year from January to October, and worldwide spending was up 13%, likely driven in part by COVID-19 lockdowns.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.