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GTA V PC port pushes US digital growth in April

Take-Two release pushes American online revenues up 15% year-over-year to $1.1 billion

The digital transition continues unabated, as Superdata found April's US digital game revenues were up 15 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion. The research firm--which collects digital point-of-sale data from developers, publishers, and payment service providers--attributed that bump to a handful of factors.

In breaking down the numbers, Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunen said the mobile market in particular had a record-breaking month. More than 147 million Americans played mobile games in April, combining to drive the segment's revenues up 13 percent year-over-year to $380 million. PC full-game downloads were also a primary driver of growth, as Take-Two's long-awaited port of Grand Theft Auto V sold 441,000 copies in the US alone.

On the other hand, van Dreunen said the social games market continued its struggles, with the average paying user spend dropping below $40 for the first time since November. Pay-to-play MMOs have also seen a steep drop, with the number of overall US subscribers dropping 18 percent since late last year. (Much of that can be attributed to World of Warcraft, which has fallen from 10 million subscribers to 7.1 million in roughly the same time frame.)

Superdata also underscored the digital performance of "legacy publishers," which have reported some $2 billion in combined digital revenues for the first quarter.

"Judging from earnings reports released by several of the publicly-traded publishers, it is clear that their transition to digital is well underway and, in some cases, is keeping their traditional publishing business afloat," van Dreunen said.

He noted that Activision drew 77 percent of its first quarter revenues from digital sources, with publishers like EA (67 percent) and Ubisoft (65 percent) not far behind.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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