Call of Duty pulled over $570M in digital revenue in 2015

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:16 GMT

The digital games market was worth $61.3 billion in 2015.


A new report from digital games industry analyst firm Superdata shows total revenue up 8% year-on-year.

On consoles, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FIFA 15 and GTA 5 all attracted gross revenue of over $300 million each for the year. EA Sports and Activision dominated the top ten charts, with only Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront breaking up the monotony.

This digital revenue is additive to physical sales, which is important; Call of Duty generally ships $1 billion worth of units to retailers during launch week each year.

Nevertheless, the console titans were dominated by PC titles. League of Legends, which presumably has a much lower development cost than Call of Duty, grossed over $1.6 billion in 2015. Its closest genre competitor, DOTA 2, produced $238 million.

CrossFire and Dungeon Fighter Online each pulled in over $1 billion each, and World of Warcraft made $814 million. That last one is pretty good, given that Superdata said subscription-based games are in decline, and with $2.9 billion across all categories Activision is the highest-grossing publisher in the digital realm, followed by Supercell and Tencent.

The mobile charts also produced one billion dollar entry – Clash of Clans with $1.345 billion. The mobile category in total pulled $25.8 billion, a 10% year-on-year increase outweighing both consoles and PC.

It’s a little bit sobering to think that console games are the smallest market as we move towards an increasingly digital future, but Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunan said this sector increased 34% year-on-year to $4 billion, which is promising – and will only increase as we all get used to buying games digitally rather than on discs. Or succumb to the DLC cycle, I guess.

PC gaming, on the other hand, is more than capable of standing up to mobile.

“The top 10 PC games earn more than the top 10 mobile games,” van Dreunan said.

“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. Three of the year’s top five digital PC games (Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3) were released in 2015, indicating that PC gamers have made significant progress transitioning to purchasing games digitally.”

Here’s Superdata’s full charts.

Digital revenues, 2015 – console

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Activision, $355
  2. FIFA 15, EA, $332
  3. Grand Theft Auto V, Take-Two Interactive, $322
  4. Destiny, Activision, $291
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Activision, $224
  6. FIFA 16, EA, $212
  7. Fallout 4, Bethesda Softworks, $108
  8. Star Wars Battlefront, EA, $106
  9. Madden NFL 16, EA, $76
  10. Madden NFL 15, EA, $73

Digital revenues, 2015 – PC

  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,, $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

Digital revenues, 2015 – mobile

  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

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