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Global Study Finds Digital Sales on PS4 and Xbox One to Eclipse 41% by 2017

A new report produced by IHS Technology and App Annie has revealed global trends in the digital games on mobile and stationary platforms over 2012-2013.

The study found that the digital market grew between 2012 and 2013 by 30% and that the most significant proportion of these sales were on digital games (not including apps). In 2013, $34 billion were spent on non-app digital games.

app annie digital games trends 2013

[Page 4 of IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report 2013)

However, data presented in terms of growth rather than gross sales presents trends which may alter this balance in the future.

app annie digital content report 2013 games

[Page 4 of IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report 2013]

The growth of game apps is clearly visible- in stark comparison with the stagnation of non-app digital games sales. Spending on digital games remained constant from 2012 through 2013, but game apps have seen a digital market beating growth of 290%.

There may be a caveat to this growth in future. IHS notes that the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles will drive future growth in digital games sales. The market research firm forecast that “41% of games spending on these devices will be digital by 2017 including service subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold and PS Plus. . . Up from 24% in 2013.”

They note that new big budget releases being offered as game downloads from day one will have an impact, as well as Sony’s new subscription model for PS Plus on PS4.

Dwelling on platforms, it is noted that PC is the strongest platform for digital games spending, with China the largest country overall.

[Page 16 of IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report 2013]

[Page 16 of IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report 2013]

While China is the largest country for PC game spending, it is clear that overall among the key 7 markets for digital content (non-app and app games, film and music) that the USA is the biggest global spender.

app annie games content report 2013

[Page 18 of IHS & App Annie Digital Content Report 2013]

Although the USA has the highest spending per head of population, the report also finds that the USA is spending the least of this on non-app digital games, and an under-average amount on game apps.

The next generation of consoles may indeed push non-app digital game sales further into growth, but this may not be enough to pace with the previous 290% growth of game apps on mobile devices. Non-app digital content grew by 2% across the board. And with Eastern countries like South Korea and Japan focusing on game content to a larger degree than America or the UK, it is possible that Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles may be a core space for digital content expansion.



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