PC Game Industry Shows Big Growth in 2010

PC Game Industry Shows Big Growth in 2010

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2010 was a big year for the PC videogame industry as the PC Gaming Alliance reports revenue growth of 20 percent over 2009 to an overall market value of more than $16 billion.

I'm not even going to make the obligatory "PC gaming is dead" crack because at this point, even the irony is worn out. Instead we're just going to get straight to the PC Gaming Alliance's 2010 Horizons report, compiled by DFC Intelligence, which says that 2010 was a banner year for the PC game industry. The global PC games market hit a value of $16.2 billion in 2010, a year-over-year increase from 2009 of 20 percent. China was the largest and fastest-growing market for PC games, putting up $4.8 billion in revenues for the year, but "mature markets" in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Korea and Germany all showed significant growth as well, combining for $7.3 billion in revenues, a 19 percent increase.

Digital distribution is a major driver of industry growth, as sites like Steam and Direct2Drive continue to turn traditional retailers into merely an "optional source for distribution." Free-to-play and online gaming are also cited as major contributors to the growing strength of the PC as a gaming platform.

"The spotlight has definitely shifted back to the PC game market," said PC Gaming Alliance President Matt Ployhar. "Large game publishers are looking at digital revenue on the PC game platform as one of their key areas of growth and it is clear that the performance of the PC game market in 2010 is resulting in substantial investment money flowing into the PC game business."

It's a bold statement but not entirely unjustified. PC gaming may still be the industry's red-headed stepchild but it's clear by now that it's not a black hole; there's a lot of money to be made for developers and publishers who are willing to embrace the platform and take advantage of its strengths. The report predicted a compound annual growth rate for the industry of nine percent, hitting $23 billion by 2014, driven mainly by increasing ease of access to digital distribution channels. Not bad for a dying platform, eh?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

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This is.. good? I didn't realise things had gotten to the point where we needed an alliance telling us "Don't worry... you're definatley still using this platform" :S

Oh well, I can't really say that i'm surprised that digital distribution has helped this along so much, it's just so convenient to buy things on steam! Is there a breakdown of how much of that money was from AAA games and how much was casual/indie? I just get the feeling that the platform seems to be moving away from AAA console ports and towards a more open arena like the iOS/Android markets due to publishing being a lower barrier to entry now.

EDIT: Also I just realised i've got a march mayhem counter under my name now? Is there some way that I can hide it? I don't want people mocking me for how bad I am at predicting these things! :(

Andy Chalk:
...there's a lot of money to be made for developers and publishers who are willing to embrace the platform and take advantage of its strengths.

Which 95% of developers/publishers don't do. The pricks.

And yet we still get all the talk about where the console generation are going...

Look at Extra Consideration. Is there going to be a separate issue on PC gaming? Probably not.

Is there going to be one on why women don't play more games? Almost certainly.

Could it be that the former is more important, but the latter is easier.

Countdown until I get told I'm an elitist starting in 5... *sigh*

Sorry I couldn't resist either...

The PC gaming alliance is still a total joke though, and I must wonder about the impartiality of the source.

...It also appears that they are counting the use of free games that get money via advertising as sales. This doesn't seem quite right to me, but w/e...

Great news, but I am unsure of the source. The new PC allience boss is certainly coming through with doing a lot more in advocating PC gamings health. But could this be a propoganda piece from an industry body that has just lost two big PC players in Nvidia and Microsoft.

I don't know, but releasing stories with stats like this is a good start..

The PC Gaming Alliance commissioned the report but it was actually conducted by DFC Intelligence, a well-regarded analyst group that's been covering the game industry since the mid-90s. It's not some faceless front for unverifiable PC cheerleading.

As for the PCGA itself, this is what it does. The idea isn't to reassure PC gamers that they're still in the fight, although that's obviously a side effect. The main drive, I think, is to provide market analysis from a PC-centric perspective, presumably with the intent of giving publishers a reason to commit, or commit further, to the platform.

One word:
StarCraft

HankMan:
One word:
StarCraft

And warcraft, and Diablo, and pretty much any RTS game or any mmo that's worth a damn. Not to mention the Battlefield series is more popular on pc than console, Counter Strike is still pretty big despite being ancient by comparison.

Thanks for the clarifications, Andy.

I just love this.

About 20 % ? That's fucking huge. I don't know what to say.

And it even seems like PCGA is good for something. Awesome.

WaaghPowa:

HankMan:
One word:
StarCraft

And warcraft, and Diablo, and pretty much any RTS game or any mmo that's worth a damn. Not to mention the Battlefield series is more popular on pc than console, Counter Strike is still pretty big despite being ancient by comparison.

And CIV5

yay my GTX470 that just came in the mail won't go to waste now :P

And how much of that revenue was associated with Zynga? >:(

I'm sorry, but using the popularity of MMOs as proof of growth simply doesn't cut it for me...

Raiyan 1.0:
snip

Your avatar is hilarious.

OT: Good news, Shogun 2 is going to cause growth the likes many people have never even seen before mwahahahaha!!!!

The_root_of_all_evil:
And yet we still get all the talk about where the console generation are going...

Look at Extra Consideration. Is there going to be a separate issue on PC gaming? Probably not.

Kinda funny you should mention that... while Yahtzee was lamenting the fact that everything must be AAA quality on consoles to be even relevant and thus is killing off creativity - at the end of the day it's the PC gamers who embrace indie titles like Amnesia and Super Meat Boy. Hell, the latter sold more on the PC in 2 weeks than XBox's total sales.

The PC will always be my one true gaming love. Ordering a new mobo with a i7 950 and a SSD soon :3

 

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