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Digital Game Sales for March 2013

Tech & Gadgets

SuperData released data for top digital game sales in March 2013, which we’re running as part of a monthly column on [a]list daily.  Last month’s report is available here.

Joost van Dreunen, co-founder and CEO of SuperData, provided insight for the March report.

Overall

“In March, the total digital games category was more-or-less stable with only 1.1 percent compared to the same month last year. Total digital game sales in the US were $875 million in March. After a decline last month, March showed a modest increase of 2.9 percent month-over-month.”

“Despite signs of healthy growth in several sectors, the year-over-year increase of the total digital games segment was modest at 1.3 percent. Especially the social games segment reached a new low of $124 million in total revenues for March 2013.”

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Digital Game Sales for March 2013 image superdata march20131

Social Games

“For the first time in over a year, the total number of monthly active social gamers in the US dropped below 200 million. The loss of roughly 10 million MAUs signifies the departure of less committed players, as both conversion and ARPPU were up for the segment. Total revenues reached $124 million.”

“EA’s retirement of SimCity Social and Playfish, which it initially had acquired for almost $400 million in 2009, emphasizes the loss of interest in the space by major publishers. Despite a mostly static leaderboard, Facebook insists that it remains a healthy ecosystem, evidenced by the payouts to smaller and medium-sized developers.”

Free-to-Play MMO

“Recovering from last month’s audience decline, free-to-play MMOs counted an additional 3 million players in March. At the same time monetization saw a slight improvement, causing overall revenues to grow to $195 million.”

“A refreshed offering with titles like Hawken (Meteor Entertainment), crowd-funded Strike Suit Zero(Born Ready Games) and MechWarrior Online (Infinite Game Publishing) maintain the overall health of the free-to-play market.”

Pay-to-Play MMO

The pay-to-play MMO segment contracted and lost an estimated 289,000 subscribers in March. Overall revenues, however, remained relatively stable at $86 million.”

“The release of paper trading card game Hearthstone at PAX East by market leader Activision-Blizzard indicates the company is actively working on a strategy to bring new players into its shrinking base. Due to seasonal factors, however, we anticipate a further decline in April.”

Mobile

“Despite a loss of attention among mobile gamers, the sector’s fundamentals remained strong as the average conversion rate reached 5.34 percent. Year-over-year mobile game revenues are up 7 percent at $157 million for the month of March.”

“Supercell dominated the US mobile games market in March, with both Clash of Clans and HeyDayamong the top grossing mobile titles. EA’s Simpson: Tapped Out appears to be on its way out of the top charts, as the dream of mobile casino titles like Big Fish Casino to claim one of the coveted top three spots is becoming more tangible.”

Downloadable (PC and console)

“The DLC segment remained stable with $312 million in total revenues in March. Compared to the same month last year, the DLC segment grew 19 percent.”

“In March, a lack of new inventory rendered the PC-side sluggish and offset the increase on console DLC, where Bioshock Infinite (2K Games) and Tomb Raider (Square Enix) triggered a 9 percent increase month-over-month.”

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