Top Digital Games in the World in August by Earnings

- September 25th, 2019

According to SuperData Research, global consumers spent US$8.9 billion on digital games last month. Mobile spending increased to 67 percent.

Over the month of August, the digital games market brought in US$8.9 billion worldwide across PC, console and mobile devices, according to a new report from SuperData Research.

SuperData is a subsidiary of Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN), a data analytics firm on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) with operations across 100 countries and a 90 year history.

According to the report, consumer spending on digital games increased by 2 percent for the period compared to last year, driven in part by an uptick in mobile gaming spending. As of August, mobile gaming accounted for 67 percent of total worldwide spending in the gaming sector.

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2019 has seen the introduction of 5G in the US, China and South Korea, which has marked an inflection point for mobile gaming, according to Newzoo.

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, the first of which emerged in the 1980s. 5G incorporates greater latency, bandwidth and connectivity to manage larger amounts of data and allow for faster downloading speeds.

This market potential, too, is evident in partnerships between major gaming companies and 5G operators. In late July, Tencent (OTC Pink:TCEHY) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) forged a strategic partnership in mobile gaming.

“Faster speeds, more bandwidth, and cutting edge ultra-low latency will support real-time, multi-player and immersive gaming experience,” said Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, in a press release. As the infrastructure evolves, gaming behaviors are following in line.

As part of its monthly report, SuperData listed the highest-grossing games across each platform.

For the mobile games division, Pokemon GO emerged as the highest earner, raking in US$176 million for the month. It was followed by Honor of Kings — owned by Tencent — and Fate/Grand Order.

Within the PC gaming market, the highest-earning game was Dungeon Fighter Online, whose developer is Neople, a subsidiary of NEXON (TSE:3659), based in South Korea. Dungeon Fighter Online was followed by Tencent-owned League of Legends and World of Warcraft (WoW). WoW is run by Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

The most newsworthy of the top PC games is the wildly popular WoW — it attracted a whopping 223 percent increase in subscription revenues over the course of August.

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This is because, in late August, Activision Blizzard re-released a classic version of the game, which was originally published 15 years ago. WoW Classic was met with massive demand, and servers were so full that players were waiting as many as nine hours to log on to them. Since the game’s launch, several analysts have upgraded their ratings for Activision Blizzard.

According to Newzoo, the worldwide PC segment is expected to generate US$35.7 billion in 2019, a 4 percent increase from last year.

Listing the top games for console, SuperData reported that Fortnite, run by privately owned Epic Games, took the lead. Since its launch two years ago, Fortnite has drawn in an estimated US$4 billion in earnings.

Following Fortnite was Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, which is owned by Activision Blizzard, and Take-Two Interactive’s (NASDAQ:TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V.

In May, two console gaming heavyweights — Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — signed a memorandum of understanding to develop joint cloud gaming systems.

By and large, the agreement was intended to offset the emergence of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Stadia, a game-streaming service based on the cloud. Stadia is built on a subscription model that costs players US$9.99 a month. Its launch is scheduled for November.

Technavio projects that the global gaming market will grow at a compound annual rate of growth of 7 percent between 2018 and 2022.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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