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Digital gaming sales jump 11% to $5.4B in Sept: Report

Visitors play video games using PCs during the Gamescom fair in Cologne, Germany.
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters
Visitors play video games using PCs during the Gamescom fair in Cologne, Germany.

Global digital game sales rose 11 percent in September from the year-ago period, boosted by higher spending on downloaded console games and growth in the mobile space as more emerging market users logged on, SuperData Research said Thursday.

The gaming intelligence firm reported digital sales — not including physical media — reached $5.4 billion last month. Revenue was up in all categories except for pay-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, which include titles such as Blizzard's "World of Warcraft."

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Digital console games saw the biggest proportional gains in September, increasing 29 percent from the same month last year to $326 million. Most of that growth came from existing players ponying up more money to download full games.

Average monthly spending on full game purchases was up 39 percent to $132.46. The big beneficiaries were EA's "FIFA 16" and Activision's "Destiny," which released an expansion pack after a bumpy first year on the market.

On PC, Konami and Time Warner scored with "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain" and "Mad Max," respectively.

"We expect the digital console and PC segments to fluctuate heavily through November as major new titles impact the hit-driven segments," SuperData founder and CEO Joost van Dreunen said in the report.

Mobile gaming sales jumped 9 percent year over year to $2 billion, representing the biggest absolute gain. SuperData said user growth slightly outpaced revenue increases as more players in the developing world purchase smartphones.

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There are now 2.2 billion monthly active mobile gamers worldwide, the firm said.

Casino-style games continued to dominate the social gaming space, with four gambling-themed titles sitting in the top five for the segment.

Digital console

1. "FIFA 16"

2. "Destiny"

3. "Grand Theft Auto V"

4. "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain"

5. "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare"

PC

1. "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain"

2. "Mad Max"

3. "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive"

4. "Grand Theft Auto V"

5. "Guild Wars 2"

Free-to-play MMO

1. "League of Legends"

2. "Crossfire"

3. "Dungeon Fighter Online"

4. "World of Tanks"

5. "Dota 2"

Pay-to-play MMO

1. "World of WarCraft" (West)

2. "Lineage I" (East)

3. "World of WarCraft" (East)

4. "Star Wars: The Old Republic"

5. "TERA: Online" (West)

Mobile

1. "Clash of Clans"

2. "Game of War: Fire Age"

3. "Puzzle & Dragons"

4. "Candy Crush Saga"

5. "Candy Crush Soda Saga"

Social

1. "DoubleDown Casino"

2. "Slotomania"

3. "Candy Crush Saga"

4. "Zynga Texas Hold 'Em Poker"

5. "Heart of Vegas"