Digital console games market, February 2015

The worldwide market for digital console games was down 3.7% compared to the same month last year, earning $233 million, following the usual sales peak around the holiday season. February 2015’s top earning title was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare by Activision (ATVI), generating $32 million in combined revenues across all current and last gen platforms.

Evolve‘s in-game store needs an overhaul

After Evolve‘s much hyped release, the asymmetric online shooter came in at the number five, earning $12.3 million in digital console sales. High price points for items and upgrades in Evolve‘s in-game store proved overly optimistic, especially considering the initial purchase price of $60. With the game’s strong emphasis on multiplayer game play, this tactic may have deterred the initial wave of consumers. Overall the game sold 192,702 digital boxed units in its first month, thereby negatively affecting its user base in the long term. This is perhaps indicative of legacy publisher 2K’s slow adoption of new distribution methods, but given the deep pockets of parent owner Take-Two (TTWO) following Grand Theft Auto V’s success, the firm has time to adjust its course.

Destiny drops, but Activision maintains hold on top charts

Despite a month-over-month decline for Destiny, dropping 30% to $9.9 million, Activision is still going strong with no fewer than three titles in the top ten list of worldwide digital console games. According to the company’s CEO, Eric Hirshberg, the Advanced Warfare franchise has now generated over $1 billion in sales. Hirshberg also stated that DLC sales were up year-over-year, indicating that a growing subset of the traditional console gaming audience is adopting digital distribution. This month’s success sets the stage for the hotly anticipated fall release of Call of Duty Black Ops 3.

Dying Light keeps on keeping on

Warner Bros.’s (TWX) recent release Dying Light appears to have some legs to it, after last month’s surprise entry onto the list. The survival horror game generated $13.6 million in digital console game revenue, up 13% month-over-month. Sony’s (SNE) The Order: 1886 managed to make a modest splash, entering this month’s top ten list at number 8 with $7.1 million in sales. However, following a string of complaints about the game’s short playtime, it is unlikely the game will stick around for very long.

Outlook

We anticipate this month’s downturn to level off during the coming few months, following a regular seasonal pattern but expect to see an upswing as the next editions of several major franchises like Halo and Resident Evil come out in the 2015 fall season.

Update

Re: Call of Duty Black Ops III, Activision’s CEO made an announcement in February that Treyarch would release a new installment in the CoD series. Since this is the same studio that developed Black Ops II in 2012, it stands to reason that he’s referring to Black Ops III.

Re: Resident Evil 7, following the success of Resident Evil HD Remaster, we’re expecting more to come down the pipe this year, but have no information that points to the release of Resident Evil 7 specifically. That would be sweet, though.