According to video game market research group SuperData, Epic Games‘ battle royale behemoth saw a dramatic falloff in September 2019. Fortnite digital spending was down a significant 43% month-over-month, which resulted in the game toppling from first in the August console chart to just seventh in September, behind the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Grand Theft Auto V, and Borderlands 3.
Digital sales within the industry were down on the whole, though only by 1% for a total of $8.9 billion. Although numerous factors almost certainly played into that final figure, it’s likely that Fortnite alone contributed a sizable portion of the blow. With the game being down across all platforms, last month marked its worst for digital revenue in almost two years (November 2017). That drop in spending does come just ahead of the whole relaunch to Fortnite Chapter 2, which launched just this month.
September also marked a disappointing launch period for soccer title FIFA 20, with spending on the franchise down slightly compared to last month despite the arrival of a new release. A more middling critical reception than usual likely played a role in this, though SuperData also notes that last year’s FIFA 19 may have benefited from football fever when launching after the FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, NBA 2K20 actually saw franchise spending increased 6%, but this was considered disappointing compared to higher grossing previous launches. The basketball game topped the US and UK charts in September, and even claimed the best ever launch month sales for a sports title in America. To see profits down proportionally in the wake of this may be cause for concern.
Less concerning for 2K Games was the success of Borderlands 3, which achieved record-breaking sales. It’s estimated that approximately 3.3 million units were sold digitally throughout the remainder of September following its (not so unlucky) release on the 13th.
While SuperData also reported that digital sales were down across consoles and PC by a respective 17% and 3% year-over-year, mobile titles are managing to do much better for themselves. They were up 6% to comprise a dominant 59% share of the digital video game market.