Mobile Titles Now Make Up 59 Percent of Digital Game Market Share

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While PC and console spending continues to decrease in 2019, mobile gaming has only grown.

Worldwide digital video game spending decreased slightly last month as traditional top performers like Fortnite and FIFA stumbled. Still, overall digital spending was down just 1 percent in September from August, to $8.9 billion, Nielsen's SuperData reports

New releases NBA 2K20 and FIFA 20, both launched in September, got off to a more sluggish start than expected. NBA 2K20 (which is currently the best-selling game of the year in the U.S.) boosted in-game spending for the basketball franchise by 6 percent over the course of the month while the FIFA franchise decreased year-over-year, due in large part to the bump the series received from last year's World Cup competition. Both titles, however, managed to top the highest-grossers list for the month, with NBA in the No. 1 slot and FIFA coming in at No. 2.

The month's other major release, Gearbox Software's Borderlands 3, celebrated a big launch. The "looter shooter" threequel sold 3.3 digital copies across PC and console in just over two weeks, landing at the No. 3 slot for console revenue and the No. 2 spot for PC titles in September. Parent company Take-Two Interactive, which owns publisher 2K Games, had a big month, having published both Borderlands 3 and NBA 2K20.

Meanwhile, Epic Games' Fortnite hit its lowest point since November 2017, seeing a spending decrease of 43 percent in September from August. However, last month preceded a significant marketing stunt from Epic that saw the entirety of Fortnite's in-game map sucked into a black hole and the game going dark for more than 30 hours before relaunching with its Chapter 2 content, raising awareness for the battle royale shooter and, most likely, revenue. 

While the mobile gaming market continues to boom in 2019 (up 6 percent in September and now making up 59 percent of the total worldwide market share), console and PC spending continues to trend downward. Last month, spending on console and PC platforms dropped 17 percent and 3 percent, respectively, year-over-year.

Topping the list of mobile earners was Fate/Grand Order, a free-to-play role-playing game from Japan's Delightworks and Sega launched in 2015, which saw a major rise in revenue last month, up to $246 million, a significant bump from August's $131 million. The bulk of the game's revenue came from China.