December 2013 Digital Game Sales
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December 2013 Digital Game Sales


SUMMARY: Top 10 free-to-play titles generated $3.6B in worldwide sales in 2013. In US mobile and free-to-play games drive 11% digital games growth to $11.8B.


December 2013 US Digital Game Sales | ★ SuperData

01/16/13, 1:00 pm EST

  • Top 10 free-to-play games (led by CrossFire and League of Legends) brought in $3.6B in 2013
  • US digital games grew 11% in 2013, to $11.8B
  • CES takeaway: PS4 and Xbox One each offer new features to digital gamers, but PlayStation Now offers an expanded catalogue, which trumps multi-purpose living room-centric Xbox One
Download the figures and rankings here
Read the full analyses here

Analysis from SuperData CEO, Joost van Dreunen, follows:

The numbers for 2013 are in! This month we take a look at the top ten earners in worldwide free-to-play. Tencent continues its dominance in the space with CrossFire and League of Legends, good for a combined annual gross of $1,581 million, and staying ahead of Nexon, which holds three of the top ten slots with a combined worth of well over $800 million. Wargaming managed to stay ahead the Western publishers, with $372 million in annual revenues for World of Tanks, and hoping to penetrate the US market by launching on the Xbox One. NCSoft’s Lineage I, now in its fourteenth year since launch, continues to generate revenue, and takes the number six spot with $257 million in total sales. Despite its chronic subscriber loss, World of Warcraft managed to generate $213 million in micro-transaction sales in 2013. Similarly, Star Wars: The Old Republic earned $139 million in additional revenues, suggesting that both titles’ change to a hybrid monetization model succeeded to stem a more drastic revenue loss. Valve takes both the number nine and ten spot in 2013 with two strong performers in the shooter space, Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike Online, totaling $260 million in revenues.

The US digital games market grew 11% in 2013, reaching $11,766 million in sales across all segments, up from $10,582 million a year earlier. With both Christmas and New Year’s taking place mid-week, the digital games sector benefitted across the board, allowing it to reach $1.2 billion in aggregate sales in December, up from $862 million last year (+36%).

Our takeaways from CES: PlayStation Now looks promising, as Xbox One reaffirms center-of-the-living room strategy. SuperData visited the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this year. Sony is developing digital and cloud-based console gaming, allowing delivery of older PS3 titles to PS4 and PS3 at first, and to PS Vita later. PS Now will also offer both a rental model and a subscription, but pricing has not yet been released. A beta program will start at the end of January and fully rollout over the summer. Microsoft Xbox reaffirmed its strategy to make its console a multi-purpose device by showcasing its capabilities together with representatives from Ubisoft, Machinima and Twitch. Albert Penello, Senior Director of Product Management and Planning at Xbox, stated: “From a console perspective, the idea that a console is a single-purpose device is the past. The future is a multi-tasking customer--a device that does more than just gaming at home. Bottom line: both devices offer new next-gen features to the digital gamer, but we expect an expanded catalogue to outweigh multi-purpose capabilities.

About SuperData

SuperData is the leading market intelligence firm on the online, digital and mobile games industry. We collect digital point-of-sale data directly from publishers and developers to give our customers unparalleled monthly insights into the unboxed games market. This allows us to identify key trends, evaluate marketing spend, establish accurate revenue estimates and analyze market changes for popular digital games, including MMO, FPS, casino, digital console, virtual world, mobile and social games.

SuperData publishes industry-relevant key performance indicators. Using our proprietary data set on over 2.85 million paying online gamers, we establish monthly benchmarks such as monthly active users, conversion rates, ARPPU and revenue estimates for markets, genres, and titles. Customers use our data to evaluate their performance, identify key growth opportunities, assess revenue potential, optimize their efforts, and better understand their audience’s wants and needs. Clients include Activision/Blizzard, EA, Konami, Namco Bandai, Zynga, Wargaming and major Wall Street firms.
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