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PUBG helps drive digital game sales up 11% in August - SuperData

Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Madden NFL 18 also contributed to the rise in digital sales for the month

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has already eclipsed 10 million sold, and the popular shooter from Bluehole was one of the key drivers of digital game sales globally in August, according to SuperData's latest digital games report. The research firm noted that the worldwide digital video games market grew 11% year-over-year in August to $7.9 billion.

While PUBG has been enjoying accelerated sales (it was estimated at close to 9m sold through August), SuperData found that the premium PC segment actually shrank 10% year-over-year thanks to tough comparisons against No Man's Sky and Overwatch's first event and new map last year. Additionally, the social and pay-to-play MMO segments continue to decline at a rate of 4% and 25%, respectively, SuperData said.

On the plus side, console sales increased 11%, mobile game sales jumped 13% and the free-to-play MMO market "was the big winner this month, growing 28% year-over-year, as more publishers and developers adopt this business model."

Big contributors included Hearthstone, which achieved an all-time revenue peak with its Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion (a 15% increase over the title's previous peak) and Overwatch, which enjoyed new highs in PC monthly active users. "On the back of a string of updates that introduced a new character, two new game modes, and the return of the 'Summer Games' event, Overwatch recorded its highest MAU yet," SuperData pointed out.

It's also worth noting that while August is typically a big month in the US for EA Sports' Madden at retail, the annual NFL blockbuster did rack up over 220,000 digital units at launch. "Sales were up compared to last year's launch month units for Madden NFL 17. We also estimate modest additional content growth on the back of new in-game DLC packs available this year," SuperData said.

The top digital games for PC, console and mobile can be seen below.

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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