PC digital revenues declined 30 percent in May compared to 2016, but there's no need to worry

There's good news and bad news in the latest report out of market analyst firm Superdata. The worldwide digital games market grew nine percent year-over-year in May, reaching a value of $7.8 billion. But the "premium PC market" was actually down by a whopping 30 percent compared to last year. That's not a sign of a general malaise in the industry, though, but just a gentle reminder that Overwatch came out in May last year. 

Despite having a full year under its belt, Superdata said Overwatch is still growing, with digital revenues in May up from April, although still down year-over-year—not surprising, again because of the direct comparison with its launch month. Nonetheless, "additional [Overwatch] content revenue hit a new high in May on the back of a one-year anniversary event," Superdata said.   

The report also noted that Playerunknown's Battlegrounds "had another solid sales month in May, bringing life to date digital sales above 2 million units," and predicted that "June looks to be another massive month for the game." When you're right, you're right: Bluehole revealed yesterday that PUBG has now surpassed four million copies sold in just three months. 

And for one last interesting bit of trivia, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 digital revenues have actually moved past Infinite Warfare on the strength of the Zombies Chronicles expansion, which came out in mid-May for the PS4. (It arrived on the PC and Xbox One in early June.) That represents "console total digital revenue" and so it's not really up our alley, but it's interesting because it really reflects just how unenthusiastic people are about Infinite Warfare relative to its predecessors.

Finally, here are your top ten digital PC games worldwide, ranked by gross earnings for the month: 

  • League of Legends
  • Crossfire
  • Fantasy Westward Journey Online II
  • Dungeon Fighter Online
  • DOTA 2
  • World of Warcraft
  • World of Tanks
  • Overwatch
  • New Westward Journey Online II
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Superdata estimated in December 2016 that the overall PC gaming market was worth just under $36 billion for the year, "driven largely by free-to-play online titles and downloadable games."  

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.