Digital Game Spending Slides Again in October

Call of Duty Modern Warfare-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Activision

Though the mobile market continues to grow, console spending has slowed considerably despite the launch of the year's best-selling title 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.'

Worldwide digital video game spending was down yet again last month to $8.8 billion across console, PC and mobile, a 3 percent drop year-over-year, reports Nielsen's SuperData. The number is also down from September ($8.9 billion), which itself saw a 1 percent drop from August ($9 billion). 

October's biggest release, Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, sold an estimated 4.8 million digital units across console and PC. The title is currently the best-selling game in the U.S. However, the shooter's launch is down 11 percent from last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, likely attributable to the fact that Modern Warfare released nearly two weeks later in the month than its predecessor.

Call of Duty Mobile, meanwhile, generated $57 million in total revenue last month, topping 116 million monthly active users. Launched Oct. 1, the game broke records with the most downloads in its first week of launch at 100 million installs.

The mobile market overall grew 7 percent from September to October as games like Tencent's Honor of Kings (released in 2016), King's Candy Crush Saga (which is owned by Activision Blizzard and launched in 2012) and Niantic's Pokemon Go (2016) continue to drive revenue.

EA and Respawn's free-to-play battle royale shooter Apex Legends also witnessed a bump in October, generating $45 million from in-game spending across console and PC, a major increase from September's $16 million.