Digital research firm Superdata says Blizzard's online FPS Overwatch pulled in an estimated $269 million in digital revenue across all platforms in May. It was number one on PC and number five on consoles, making it the top digital revenue earner for the month overall, despite only being around for eight days of it.
Overwatch beat out fellow newcomer Doom as well as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dark Souls 3, and Minecraft to claim the top spot, no doubt helped along by sales of Loot Boxes that can be purchased in bunches ranging from $2 to $40. “The new shooter game is proving to be a hit among online spectators and is currently the 5th most commonly streamed title across live streaming channels,” Superdata wrote. “Despite not being free-to-play, Overwatch is rolling out a long-term monetization strategy by offering a hefty quantity of vanity items, including skins and graffiti tags.”
Superdata's numbers are based on "the spending data of millions of unique paying online gamers [collected] directly from publishers and developers, totaling 50+ publishers and 500+ game titles,” its methodology page explains. “We clean, aggregate, and analyze these data to establish market benchmarks for all segments of digital games, then build title-level models to speak to the KPIs of top performing games." The resulting figures may not be pinpoint-precise, in other words, but they do very clearly indicate that Overwatch is another big hit for Blizzard, and that its decision to eschew free-to-play was a wise one.
The situation is a lot less happy for Overwatch's erstwhile competitor Battleborn. “Take-Two’s Battleborn had a significantly poorer performance, earning an estimated $18 million,” Superdata wrote. That's in spite of the fact that Battleborn came out on May 3, a full three weeks ahead of Overwatch.