Digital goods market researchers at Superdata have published a new report on the state of play in the worldwide digital games market. The firm compiled figures for the whole of 2015 and found that total sales reached a record high last year, worth $61 billion across all platforms. One of the most surprising facts revealed by Superdata was that the top 10 PC games earned more than the top 10 mobile games. Furthermore of the $61 billion headline figure for the whole industry, PC games generated more than half of that revenue.
Over the last few years we have seen the gaming industry apparently lunge towards mobile titles, and mobile games publishing firms like King, Tencent and Rovio have in the headlines for making money - hand over fist. So it is very interesting to see last year's figures for the digital games industry provide evidence of the PC's dominance in this arena.
Superdata reports that "Despite a heavy industry focus on mobile gaming, the combined earnings of digital PC games for the top (10) titles came in higher, totalling $6.3B in sales compared to $6.18B for mobile." But the most significant information about the success of PC games comes in the following snippet, "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."
The numbers show that the industry has been successful in steering PC gamers in a transition to digital. Games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 were cited as top earners last year and they all were released last year. However League of Legends (earning $1.6 billion in 2015 on PC) is the biggest grossing game on ANY platform.
Top Grossing PC Games by Revenue, 2015 (in millions)
- League of Legends, Tencent/Riot Games ($1,628)
- CrossFire, SmileGate ($1,110)
- Dungeon Fighter Online, Neople ($1,052)
- World of Warcraft, Activision ($814)
- World of Tanks, Wargaming.net ($446)
- Lineage I, NCSOFT ($339)
- Maplestory, Nexon ($253)
- DOTA 2, Valve Corporation ($238)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve Corporation ($221)
- Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive ($205)