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Digital video game sales surge nearly 10% in January to $7.5 billion

Activision
David M. Benett | Getty Images

Global digital video game sales got off to a strong start in 2017, boosted by growth in downloads to consoles and PCs after the holiday season, according to a new report.

Revenue from games downloaded directly to consoles, PCs and mobile devices surged 9.8 percent in January from the same period last year to $7.47 billion, analysis firm SuperData Research reports. It does not include sales of physical software.

Sales to PCs rose 34 percent, while revenue from games downloaded to consoles like Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation jumped 32 percent year over year.

"The shift to digital for the console market shows no signs of a slowdown, particularly in the U.S. where the segment rose 43 percent," SuperData said in a report.

The console performance was underscored by the strength of blockbuster franchises like Electronic Arts' "FIFA" and Take-Two Interactive's "Grand Theft Auto," and also by the rise of "ARK: Survival Evolved," an "unusual standout" from the small, privately held publisher Studio Wildcard, SuperData notes.

"ARK: Survival Evolved" edged out titles by so-called triple-A publishers to take the No. 4 spot among digital console games after launching on PlayStation 4 in December.

Meanwhile, the latest installment in Activision's popular "Call of Duty" series continued to see weaker-than-usual sales.

"Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" sold 41 percent fewer units to PC and console gamers in January compared with the last installment, "Black Ops III." That follows a 23 percent drop in December. However, declining unit sales were offset by a higher average selling price for deluxe versions of the game, SuperData noted.

Finally, long-beleaguered social media game developer Zynga got some good news: Sales of "Zynga Poker" rose 19 percent to $13 million for its fourth straight month of revenue growth. "Zynga Poker" also converted 4.9 percent of all users into paying players, a record high, according to SuperData.

Here are the top performers on the PC, console and mobile platforms for January 2017:

PC

1. "League of Legends"
2. "CrossFire"
3. "Dungeon Fighter Online"
4. "Overwatch"
5. "World of Warcraft (West)"
6. "World of Tanks"
7. "World of Warcraft (East)"
8. "Lineage I"
9. "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive"
10. "DOTA 2"

Console

1. "FIFA 17"
2. "Grand Theft Auto V"
3. "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare"
4. "ARK: Survival Evolved"
5. "Call of Duty: Black Ops III"
6. "Battlefield 1"
7. "Star Wars Battlefront"
8. "Destiny"
9. "NBA 2K17"
10. "Madden NFL 17"

Mobile

1. "Clash Royale"
2. "Monster Strike"
3. "Clash of Clans"
4. "Pokémon GO"
5. "Fate/Grand Order"
6. "Mobile Strike"
7. "Fantasy Westward Journey"
8. "King of Glory"
9. "Onmyoji"
10. "Candy Crush Saga"