PC Gaming Market Up Three Percent in 2009

PC Gaming Market Up Three Percent in 2009

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The PC Gaming Alliance revealed today that total revenues from all aspects of the PC gaming industry in 2009 was actually up by three percent over the previous year, totaling a whopping $13.1 billion.

Conventional wisdom says the PC is a dying platform: Sales are down and major publishers are increasingly focusing on consoles, which rule the roost unopposed. But according to the PC Gaming Alliance, which released its 2009 Horizons Report today, it's not actually dying at all. It's just changing.

No, this isn't some "beautiful butterfly" metaphor. Most analyses of the PC gaming market look exclusively at conventional retail game sales and in that regard, the market is indeed in bad shape: Boxed game sales suffered the biggest downturn of all PC market segments in 2009 and now account for less than 20 percent of total revenues. But the PCGA cast a much wider net for its report, including online gaming, digital distribution and even online advertising, and found that overall, the PC is still a very lucrative platform.

"The most notable trend in recent years has been the movement to digital distribution and payment for subscriptions, and the growing popularity with consumers of online games as a service," said PC Gaming Alliance President Randy Stude. "In 2009 we saw North America and Europe experience a rapid uptake in purchasing virtual items. This model is what drove growth in Asia and we think it is just starting to come to Western markets."

Along with boxed game sales, "high-end subscription" games - those that charge $10 per month or more to play - also experienced a slowdown, but the PCGA said the growth of digital distribution was enough to "largely offset" the losses suffered by established markets. Meanwhile, free-to-play games such as those found on Facebook and other social networks are continuing to grow rapidly, attracting a user base that can be "progressively monetized."

"In our surveys of PC gamers in North America and Europe we found that over 70 percent indicate they have bought a full game online. Furthermore, over 50 percent indicate they have bought a virtual item," noted DFC Intelligence Analyst David Cole. "This is very positive because, when done successfully, companies in Asia have found the digital distribution model to be significantly more profitable than the traditional retail boxed goods business."

Reports of the PC's demise, it would seem, have been greatly exaggerated.

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Marvelous, but I'll keep my boxes thank you.

Even if the Steam deals are incrediblly lucrative.

It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

So me buying 30 games through Steam tipped the scales, huh? (actually I only buy games when there's some kind of discount, so I didn't help much).

With Steam giving the best deals I have ever seen, its not surprising most people are buying from them, as well as from D2D etc.

I really love having a physical box, but I'm caring less after the last holiday sale on Steam. Not to mention the weekend deals, and the random sale they're having for this week.

EDIT: Microsoft's 'Games on Demand' scheme on the 360 will NEVER work unless they bother with realistic prices, and actually put games on there (new and old).

Maybe statistics like this will finally get people to stop saying "The PC is obsolete and will die."

...

Pfft, who am I kidding? Great news though.

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Yeah...there new strategy is really going to kick it in the teeth if things keep going the way they do with Ubi

Jaredin:

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Yeah...there new strategy is really going to kick it in the teeth if things keep going the way they do with Ubi

You think Ubisoft are going to still be around in 2011?

Reminds me of an image...

Woodsey:
EDIT: Microsoft's 'Games on Demand' scheme on the 360 will NEVER work unless they bother with realistic prices, and actually put games on there (new and old).

No joke.
The prices are way too high for me to even think about using that 'service'.

More on topic: Hurrah for PC gaming!
I'm a PC gamer at heart, even if I'm not one in practice.
My favourite games of all time are only on PC, and I wouldn't mind stepping back into it. Thankfully, with this information, I know that when I get my new gaming PC in a few years, the market will still be alive and kicking!

Oh, yeah, PC gaming! There has been only great news this week, from Ubisoft's DRM attacks to the birth of Mac Valve gaming to the undeath of PC gaming, whoop!

Steam is awesome. If only I had found out sooner that you don't have to have a credit card to use Paypal here in Belgium (I really wanted Altitude for 2€!) :(

That's nice to hear. Here I was actually thinking that a few more years down the line and I wouldn't be able to play all my favorite releases, since I don't have nor am able to afford a console and a TV to go with that. I'm not sure if I even could play singerplayer games on consoles, at least not now when I have absolutley no privacy outside of my room.

I don't like people looking over my shoulders going "Hey, hey, hey, what are you doing with that blue alien chick... OH MY GOD WHAT?", like that one time when my niece walked in on me watching the sex scene in ME1. Awkwardness ensued.

So yeah, I'm happy to hear this, at least.

Exocet:
Reminds me of an image...

Ah, good to see that image. And to all of the "PC gaming is dying" people out there I must include this...

lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol

With all respect, of course.

Andy Chalk:

Reports of the PC's demise, it would seem, have been greatly exaggerated.

You're quite awesome.

On topic, Steam should really get around to publishing some sales figures.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Jaredin:

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Yeah...there new strategy is really going to kick it in the teeth if things keep going the way they do with Ubi

You think Ubisoft are going to still be around in 2011?

Uh, almost certainly?

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Nope, what's going to happen is Ubisoft is finally going to give up on the PC, as are all the other large companies, and the gap is going to be filled by previously indie developers who don't treat their customers as criminals.

OP: Yaaaay!

Hopefully, some new great PC games shall come of this.

Hell, even if PC gaming dies on its arse, I'll still have System Shock 2.

Pc gaming dying? I have not seen a sinlge console release that has held any interest for more than five minutes

this year it should go up again :P SC2 is on the horizon along with Cataclysm. Blizzard will prop up PC for at least another 2 years. Then it will crash in 2012...omg so thats the paradigm shift the Mayans are on about!!

its a joke ppl i dont actually think this <.<

Furburt:

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Nope, what's going to happen is Ubisoft is finally going to give up on the PC, as are all the other large companies, and the gap is going to be filled by previously indie developers who don't treat their customers as criminals.

Or there's always the outside chance they could learn from Ubisoft's epic fail precisely why their approach to combating piracy is stupid, and refocus their efforts in the sorts of approaches companies like say... EA are using right now. This is assuming an unusual degree of logical thinking of course, but it's statistically possible!

BAH!! Quit making up silly things like "facts" and "statistics" and get back to shouting "OH NOES!!! PC GAMING IZ DYING!!1!1" /sarcasm

In all seriousness, I really hope this stops the retards who have nothing better to do then scream at the top of their lungs about the looming death of the industry.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Jaredin:

Onyx Oblivion:
It's gonna go down fast. Thanks to Ubisoft.

Yeah...there new strategy is really going to kick it in the teeth if things keep going the way they do with Ubi

You think Ubisoft are going to still be around in 2011?

By "around", do you mean, on the PC, or, in existence?

I'm not complaining, less people means more dedicated gamers which in turn means a better community.

With the amount of money it's making I suspect Blizzard alone could sustain the PC market.

that's probably because of me. i bought 11 games instead of 10 last year.

Exquisite! Not to mention a growth during a recession...
Still, I'd love to know how the console market compares, especially genre-by-genre

I've never understood the "PC gaming is dying" crowd since it seems like the end result of all the improvements being made to consoles is that their just going to become PCs.

Dudeakoff:

Andy Chalk:

Reports of the PC's demise, it would seem, have been greatly exaggerated.

You're quite awesome.

On topic, Steam should really get around to publishing some sales figures.

I wish they would as well. This here however gives some good indications as to general populations:
http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

If you look at View Steam players by game you can see how many in the last day were in the top75 most popular games. Interesting to see Ubis AC2 has been at or below 2,000 and its a fresh AAA launch

 

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