Home Gaming PC beats out mobile to become 2015’s highest digital earner

PC beats out mobile to become 2015’s highest digital earner

3 min read


We keep hearing how Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the best-selling game of 2015 – and that’s very likely true. It’s definitely the retail sales champ, and it’s come up as the best-performing title on Sony’s PlayStation Store – but how is it performing if we consider more in the way of digital distribution?

Honestly? Pretty damned well. According to the fine chaps at SuperData, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the top digital earner on consoles. That’s not to be sneezed at, when we consider how much the digital marketplace is growing.

“Worldwide market for digital games 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,” says SuperData.

But what of the PC market? The digital PC landscape is very, very different. The top earning game on PC is League of Legends, from the Tencent-owned Riot Games. In fact, it was the highest earning game overall, besting even the best-earning mobile games, like Clash of Clans.

“Earning $1.6B in 2015, League of Legends is the world’s highest-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.”

PC gaming is where the money really was in 2015 – though comparatively little of it came from traditional games. Instead, it’s largely from MOBAs, MMOs and other subscription and free-to-play games.

“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.”

Here are the number by platforms, in millions of USD.


  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Activision, $355
  2. FIFA 15, Electronic Arts, $332
  3. Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive, $322
  4. Destiny, Activision, $291
  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 Arts, $73


  1. League of Legends, Tencent/Riot Games, $1,628
  2. CrossFire, SmileGate, $1,110
  3. Dungeon Fighter Online, Neople, $1,052
  4. World of Warcraft, Activision, $814
  5. World of Tanks, Wargaming.net, $446
  6. Lineage I, NCSOFT Corporation, $339
  7. Maplestory, Nexon, $253
  8. DOTA 2, Valve Corporation, $238
  9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve Corporation, $221
  10. Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive, $205


  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
  5. MonsterStrike, Mixi, $674
  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
  10. Boom Beach, Supercell, $297

Last Updated: January 26, 2016

No Comments

  1. HairyEwok

    January 26, 2016 at 18:18

    Now if only the Developers of games could see this and make PC games which then gets ported to console, and not the other way around.


    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      January 27, 2016 at 06:55



      • Hammersteyn

        January 27, 2016 at 07:41

        See above, consoles are dead, long live consoles


    • Hammersteyn

      January 27, 2016 at 07:40

      Um No? Look at the stats in regards with Battlefront below, Also preorders for The Division are way more for consoles than PC. Combined they are almost 700 000 while PC has almost 50 000. Maybe if the numbers was swapped but at the moment is more important to optimize for consoles and then port to PC


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        January 27, 2016 at 08:09

        Yes I agree, because they’re different markets. PC leads with all the MMO & F2P stuff, consoles with the typical AAA-style games, because of the different dev & update styles those games require. All the stuff that made consoles the focus for AAA hasn’t changed at all.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    January 26, 2016 at 18:43

    Heh. I don’t have any of those games.


    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      January 27, 2016 at 06:55

      I have two, that I don’t play (Dota2 and CSGO)


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        January 27, 2016 at 08:04

        Oh right. I’ve got Dota, although in my defense it was a gift I didn’t want. Never played it.


    • VampyreSquirrel

      January 27, 2016 at 08:30

      I’ve got one, GTAV, but haven’t spent any money on it… I’d add WoW but my subscription has been dead since just before Warlords of Draenor came out.


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        January 27, 2016 at 08:42

        Out of all those GTAV & F4 are the only games I’ll probably end up getting… eventually. One day. Maybe.


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