Superdata Research released some interesting stats regarding digital sales for games in the month of May. Despite coming out in the second half of May, Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch was the number one digital game on PC just ahead of DOOM and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it managed to take the number five spot as the most purchased digital game on home consoles just behind Tom Clancy’s The Division and FIFA 16.
GamesIndustry.biz picked up the report from over on the Superdata Research website, where they reported that overall digital games sales were up 11% in year-over-year comparisons, earning a total of $6 billion in May alone.
According to the report, it was stated…
“Overwatch tops May’s revenue rankings with $269 million in earnings across PC and console. 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.”
“[…] Take-Two’s Battleborn had a significantly poorer performance, earning an estimated $18 million.”
I’m pretty sure Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford is feeling the pinch after throwing hardcore gamers under the bus back in September of 2014, saying that core gamers supporting #GamerGate “cost us more than they gain us”. This was followed by their abysmal treatment of fans during the Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle, where they showcased some amazing E3 footage years prior but then released a half-cocked game and called it a day.
Nevertheless, Pitchford’s #GamerGate statement was followed by the under-performance of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and now it looks as if it’s becoming a trend with Battleborn severely falling down by the wayside and getting trounced by Overwatch like a pit-bull ripping and tearing at a claw-less kitten.
Both games came out in May, with Battleborn releasing on May 3rd and Overwatch releasing on May 24th. Both games are also first-person shooters and both games came out physically and digitally for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
However, in the battle of the cartoon shooters, Tracer’s butt and Widowmaker’s sex appeal definitely helped Blizzard win over the sales, in addition to an aggressive marketing campaign and some slick cinematics. But the butts… those have been undoubtedly some of the most popular items of Overwatch, keeping the game bright in the minds of gamers the world around. Heck the SFM models and MMD models for Tracer, Mercy and Widowmaker are still some of the most searched for items on this site.
The strong porn culture for Overwatch along with a deep lore (not present in the game) and the e-sport ready gameplay made it an instant hit off the drop, both digitally and at physical retail. However, despite most people seeing that Overwatch would have an obvious win over Battleborn, I don’t think anyone had an idea that Blizzard would pummel Gearbox in digital sales like Jay-Z pummeled Naz’s career into the ground.
Now that Gearbox has had two games that didn’t quite reach their potential in the sales department, I wonder if the humble pie will see them changing the way they deal with the gaming community?