In 2015 the worldwide digital games market totals $61B across platforms, up 8% year-over-year. Following a stellar holiday season for the games industry, total sales reached a record high in 2015. Sales of digital console games showed the biggest jump and were up 34%, despite being one of the smaller categories at $4B annually. The largest category in terms of dollar sales was mobile, earning $25.8 billion and up double digits (10%) from the year before. Sales figures points toward a shift in the industry as more consumers have adopted digitally distributed games and free-to-play. However, not all segments were posting positive numbers, as social games remained largely stable (-0.8%) and subscription-based gaming continue on its downward spiral (-4%).
Subscribers to the SuperData Arcade have access to detailed performance data on the world’s most popular digital games across PC, console and mobile.
Top Grossing Console Games by Revenue, 2015 (mil $)
|1||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Activision||$355|
|2||FIFA 15||Electronic Arts||$332|
|3||Grand Theft Auto V||Take-Two Interactive||$322|
|5||Call of Duty: Black Ops III||Activision||$224|
|6||FIFA 16||Electronic Arts||$212|
|7||Fallout 4||Bethesda Softworks||$108|
|8||Star Wars Battlefront||Electronic Arts||$106|
|9||Madden NFL 16||Electronic Arts||$76|
|10||Madden NFL 15||Electronic Art||$73|
Top Grossing PC Games by Revenue, 2015 (mil $)
|1||League of Legends||Tencent/Riot Games||$1,628|
|3||Dungeon Fighter Online||Neople||$1,052|
|4||World of Warcraft||Activision||$814|
|5||World of Tanks||Wargaming.net||$446|
|8||DOTA 2||Valve Corporation||$238|
|9||Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||Valve Corporation||$221|
|10||Grand Theft Auto V||Take-Two Interactive||$205|
Top Grossing Mobile Games by Revenue, 2015 (mil $)
|1||Clash of Clans||Supercell||$1,345|
|2||Game of War: Fire Age||Machine Zone||$799|
|3||Puzzle & Dragons||Gungho Online Ent. Inc||$729|
|4||Candy Crush Saga||King Digital||$682|
|6||Candy Crush Soda Saga||King Digital||$518|
|7||Fantasy Westward Journey||NetEase||$451|
|8||Colopl Rune Story||COLOPL NI Inc||$356|
|9||Disney Tsum Tsum||LINE Corp||$326|
$1.6B makes League of Legends the world’s top-grossing digital game
Riot’s League of Legends shows no signs of slowing down as December proved to be the game’s highest-earning month in its history. Close followers were Clash of Clans ($1.3B), CrossFire ($1.1B) and Dungeon Fighter Online ($1.05B) rounding out last year’s titles that earned over a billion dollars. Despite not being a household names in the west, games like CrossFire and Dungeon Fighter Online perform well thanks to the strength and momentum in markets like South Korea and China.
Based on top 10 earnings, Activision, Supercell, and Tencent rule digital
Last year’s highest-grossing publishers, based on their titles in the top 10, were Activision ($2.9B), Supercell ($1.64B) and Tencent ($1.62B). The top ranking titles offer a market picture in which Activision currently dominates. Earning the firm $2.9B in 2015, Activision controlled six of the 30 top spots across platforms, including the titles that came under its ownership following the acquisition of King Digital late last year. Supercell takes the number two position overall with $1.6B in earnings across its titles in the top 10. And China’s titan Tencent follows as a close third, based on its dominance in the PC market with its wildly successful League of Legends, earning $1.6B, or roughly 7x more than its closest competitor, Dota 2 (Valve), which earned $238M in 2015. Despite claiming five of the top spots on console, Electronic Arts lacks a strong position in digital PC and mobile, earning it gross revenues of $798M.
The top 10 PC games earn more than the top 10 mobile games
Despite a heavy industry focus on mobile gaming, the combined earnings of digital PC games for the top titles came in higher, totaling $6.3B in sales compared to $6.18B for mobile. PC-based gaming–consisting of free-to-play MMOs, subscription-based games like World of Warcraft, social games and PC downloadable games–earns over $32 billion annually, well above the $25.1 billion generated by mobile games. Three of the year’s top five digital PC games (Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3) were released in 2015, indicating that PC gamers have made significant progress transitioning to purchasing games digitally.