Home Gaming US digital games market surpasses $1 Billion in April

US digital games market surpasses $1 Billion in April

2 min read


Digital games are the future of the industry. While I don’t think retail will ever totally disappear, digital will continue to grow and the industry will have to change if retailers and distributors are going to survive. South Africa still has a while before this shift is as powerful as it is in America, where apparently digital sales are breaking records all the time.

According to the people at Super Data, US digital sales grew from $0.96B to $1.1B in April. This represents a 15% growth compared to the same month last year.

In line with earlier expectations, the social games market further declined as the average spending per paying user dropped below $40 for the first time in over six months. Mobile broke a new record with more than 147 million Americans playing games on their smartphones or tablets in April, allowing monthly revenue to reach $380 million, up 13% from the same month last year. Pay-to-play MMO games showed a decline, too, as the overall US subscriber base dropped 18% since its peak late last year. Finally, the long-awaited release of the PC version for Grand Theft Whale Auto V (NASDAQ: TTWO) improved the overall PC DLC market, selling 441k copies in the United States.

While social games aren’t raking in as much money, mobile users just keep on rising. What I’m amazed by is the fact that even with an 18% drop in MMO gaming since the peak last year, digital games are still climbing. It’s not just about WoW subscriptions – GTA V on PC sold ridiculously well and helped make a ton of digital monies. It makes sense that this would have a particular impact on digital; it seems pretty common and predictable that PC gamers would get their new titles through Steam or other digital platforms rather than buy discs at retail. That’s been the status quo for a long time, but when a title of that size gets released, it’s bound to send digital sales to record highs.

Having been in the US of A for a bit lately, I’m struck by just how omni-present high speed internet is. Even in the supermarket or other free wifi areas, there’s high speed internet for all. South Africa is slowly catching up, but not fast enough for everyone to go fully digital just yet. Besides, some games are better physical, especially if you buy a Collector’s Edition.

Last Updated: May 14, 2015


  1. Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

    May 14, 2015 at 20:57

    I’ll bet 80% of that is DLC.

    Don’t support DLC.

    Nothing is coming


    • Blogvader

      May 14, 2015 at 21:12

      I miss the days when we bought a game and got all of the content of that game, rather than having pieces withheld from us and being price-gouged. (Luckily steam has leveled the playing field in many ways.)


      • Krabby Paddy

        May 15, 2015 at 06:41

        Has levelled the playing field for those willing to wait … however there are still too many people out there who can’t wait. “I MUST HAVE IT NOW!”


        • Mark Treloar

          May 15, 2015 at 07:01

          Too many people who cant wait? You make that sound like a bad thing.


          • Krabby Paddy

            May 15, 2015 at 07:18

            Well that is why DLC sells so well. Game releases. So many people go: I must have it. Oh look a new shiny DLC! Must have it. Look another! Must have it. So on and so on. Others go (a few months later): Look GOTY edition on steam for $5. I’m so glad I waited!

          • Mark Treloar

            May 15, 2015 at 07:25

            You do realize that day one adopters of games are what keeps the industry going right?

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 15, 2015 at 07:30

            Yes, I do. I’m one of those people that if a game looks like it will be good and I will enjoy it. I buy it day one (I’m not a biscuit). Time to play it and money allowing. However, I do get very annoyed when buying a game and it is very short or is lacking content and then DLC come along to “add” to a “complete” game, on or shortly after the release day.

    • Krabby Paddy

      May 15, 2015 at 06:38

      Support the Witcher 3. Free DLC coming. Complete marketing gimmick but hey at least it isn’t one we will have to pay for.


  2. Shane

    May 15, 2015 at 07:30

    This header is racist to us Zimbabweans. but I like it.


  3. HairyEwok

    May 15, 2015 at 08:10

    Did you say 1 Billion dollars?


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