Industry Stays Flat For November But PC Skyrockets

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Industry Stays Flat For November But PC Skyrockets

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The U.S. videogame industry stayed effectively flat for November, as reduced hardware sales were offset by strong software sales and a huge leap in boxed PC games.

It's not looking like the best holiday season ever for the videogame industry but it shouldn't be a complete train wreck either, according to the NPD, which released numbers today indicating a year-over-year decline of 0.5 percent in the U.S. videogame market for November. Hardware sales are down nine percent, sliding from $1.08 billion last year to $982.4 million this year, while peripheral sales crashed a whopping 34 percent, a decline "probably largely explained" by the launch of Kinect last year.

On the upside, software sales for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were strong for the month, with Modern Warfare 3 leading a pack that included Battlefield 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Just Dance 3 and Skyrim. Modern Warfare 3 sold 8.99 million units across all formats in November, dwarfing the numbers of the second-place Skyrim, which put out 2.8 million units.

Rather strangely, PC boxed retail sales saw a huge increase, jumping an amazing 57 percent year-over-year. Sales details weren't released but the launch of the PC-centric [relatively speaking] Battlefield 3 and Skyrim in fairly close proximity to one another seems the most likely explanation.

On the other side of the coin, Wii game sales continued to slide, dropping another 28 percent, but the discounted 3DS managed to keep handheld sales almost flat, holding the line at just a one percent decline.

Cowen and Co. predicted that December wouldn't be much better for the industry, calling for a "mid-single digit" year-over-year shrinkage due to shrinking Wii and handheld sales, which in past years have driven sales for the month. "[This is] due in part to a tough comp versus the launch of Epic Mickey last year, and in part because December sales tend to weigh more heavily towards the Wii/handheld platforms, where overall sales trends are worse," the firm wrote. "However, we believe that sales on the Xbox 360/PS3 platforms will once again be up double digits."

Source: GamesIndustry

Permalink

Andy Chalk:
Rather strangely, PC boxed retail sales saw a huge increase, jumping an amazing 57 percent year-over-year. Sales details weren't released but the launch of the PC-centric [relatively speaking] Battlefield 3 and Skyrim in fairly close proximity to one another seems the most likely explanation.

I seem to recall being told that Skyrim was developed for the Xbox? Possibly whoever told me was lying, of course.

Don't know about Battlefield 3, I've only played on my flatmate's PS3 and the bloody awkward controller kept getting me killed, so maybe it is better on PC :-P

By Jove, could it be that the release of games people would want to play on their PC has caused a surge in PC sales? Who'd have thought.

PC gaming is dying...

Perhaps this is really those 7 year old consoles starting to die.

PC sales have been high for quite a while, but Digital Distribution is hardly ever counted in the statistics. Though, to be fair that's mostly because both the distributors and the publishers are a bit tight lipped. However, trying to gauge the PC market by boxed sales alone when almost every price-savvy PC gamer is buying from STEAM and other such services is just silly...

Anyone else notice how the PC has been 'dying' for the past 8 or 9 years?

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As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

DVS BSTrD:
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As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

Might need to update the image at the bottom right :-P

Excuse my apparent cynicism but isn't sales of boxed PC-games in the US rather low? Because a 57 % increase from nothing is still nothing. You know, just to be sure before I start dancing on tables singing "Suck it consoles".

Jandau:
However, trying to gauge the PC market by boxed sales alone when almost every price-savvy PC gamer is buying from STEAM and other such services is just silly...

Buying new PC games from Steam isn't what I would call "price-savvy". Here in the Euro-zone it is often 20-30 % more expensive to buy new on Steam compared to a boxed copy from internet.

Cronq:
PC gaming is dying...

Perhaps this is really those 7 year old consoles starting to die.

Death is part of a console's life cycle. Unlike PC (or like PC I suppose, but at least a PC can be upgraded to stay with the times), they're only supposed to last a few years, then they get replaced.

Can't be long now. Didn't some guy from Microsoft say the 360 had a couple of years left in it, roughly a couple of years ago?

SonicWaffle:

DVS BSTrD:
image
As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

Might need to update the image at the bottom right :-P

Hah yeah. May as well replace it with Deus Ex or Skyrim or something.

Ah well, it's sad to have my preferred platform of gaming be dying for as long as I've been alive, but I'll live.

Lordmarkus:
Excuse my apparent cynicism but isn't sales of boxed PC-games in the US rather low? Because a 57 % increase from nothing is still nothing. You know, just to be sure before I start dancing on tables singing "Suck it consoles".

Jandau:
However, trying to gauge the PC market by boxed sales alone when almost every price-savvy PC gamer is buying from STEAM and other such services is just silly...

Buying new PC games from Steam isn't what I would call "price-savvy". Here in the Euro-zone it is often 20-30 % more expensive to buy new on Steam compared to a boxed copy from internet.

That's why you wait for Steam's deals which drop the price bellow what a boxed copy would set you back. Also, way to miss the point (which is that PC market has a large Digital Distribution segment that is largely ignored in statistics).

DVS BSTrD:
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As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

As a PC gamer i'm going to have to agree that PC gaming isn't dead.

As a person who wants to makes sure people know the facts I can tell you that the U.S. PC gaming industry revenue has gone down by %50 in the past 10 years.
http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/PC_gaming

WOW has lost a million players and League of Legends is more popular.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.2 has been cancelled and the developer GSC is closed.

The Witcher 2 has been pirated 4.5 million times. (and this is after Spore was the most pirated game ever at 500 thousand in 2007)

My point is while PC Gaming isn`t dead, it has been very, very diminished.

Absolutionis:
Ah well, it's sad to have my preferred platform of gaming be dying for as long as I've been alive, but I'll live.

I've never really understood allure of PC gaming, personally, apart from an RTS or point-and-click that just doesn't work on console. Consoles are so much easier; put the disc in, play with a controller moulded to your hand rather than fiddly keyboard & mouse set-up, and that's all apart from the occasional patch.

As far as I'm concerned, my PC is just a magic box that makes porn happen :-P

DVS BSTrD:
As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

You know its funny that the only people go talk about PC gaming dying are those protesting that it is in fact not dying. Nobody else is saying that. It really kind of makes me wonder why you guys keep defending pc gaming when nobody is actually attacking it.

SonicWaffle:

Andy Chalk:
Rather strangely, PC boxed retail sales saw a huge increase, jumping an amazing 57 percent year-over-year. Sales details weren't released but the launch of the PC-centric [relatively speaking] Battlefield 3 and Skyrim in fairly close proximity to one another seems the most likely explanation.

I seem to recall being told that Skyrim was developed for the Xbox? Possibly whoever told me was lying, of course.

Don't know about Battlefield 3, I've only played on my flatmate's PS3 and the bloody awkward controller kept getting me killed, so maybe it is better on PC :-P

All fps's are better on pc =P The mouse is a hell of a tool.

Jandau:

Lordmarkus:
Excuse my apparent cynicism but isn't sales of boxed PC-games in the US rather low? Because a 57 % increase from nothing is still nothing. You know, just to be sure before I start dancing on tables singing "Suck it consoles".

Jandau:
However, trying to gauge the PC market by boxed sales alone when almost every price-savvy PC gamer is buying from STEAM and other such services is just silly...

Buying new PC games from Steam isn't what I would call "price-savvy". Here in the Euro-zone it is often 20-30 % more expensive to buy new on Steam compared to a boxed copy from internet.

That's why you wait for Steam's deals which drop the price bellow what a boxed copy would set you back. Also, way to miss the point (which is that PC market has a large Digital Distribution segment that is largely ignored in statistics).

So you're telling me to wait for 6 months for a steam sale where they cut 50 % of the price so it will become the same as I paid at launch? Madness.

I never implied that PC games sales were low. I know that digital distribution is bigger than boxed sales. The news however concerns the boxed copies, which I asked if they are high or low in general. I can't start doing somersaults if PC games sales only grew from 100 000 to 157 000.

Richard Allen:
All fps's are better on pc =P The mouse is a hell of a tool.

Never understood that claim either. Maybe I'm just incredibly cack-handed (which, OK, I am) but I've always found using a mouse to be terribly imprecise. Especially once they start clogging up with dirt or your mousemat is too small for the wide sweeps you've been making with the mouse.

I find FPS much easier on consoles, presumably because there's some sort of auto-aim tweaking going on to make up for the general imprecision of a thumbstick. Plus, triggers! How can you play an FPS without a trigger, man? Just feels wrong to me :-P

Skyrim was the best ever selling RPG on the PC, and in the top 3 of any PC game, so yeah, pretty much that. Battlefield 3 also sold well, about half as many copies as Skyrim. (On PC)

So, I guess that supplying fans with a construction set was a good idea after all. [scowls angrily at Bioware]

I wonder what the pc games sales are for digital distribution platforms are.

SonicWaffle:

DVS BSTrD:
image
As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

Might need to update the image at the bottom right :-P

And remove spore from it >_< along with another few titles which aren't that great on that list :/

OT: Damn, 57% increase in just 1 year? That's amazing.

SonicWaffle:

Richard Allen:
All fps's are better on pc =P The mouse is a hell of a tool.

Never understood that claim either. Maybe I'm just incredibly cack-handed (which, OK, I am) but I've always found using a mouse to be terribly imprecise. Especially once they start clogging up with dirt or your mousemat is too small for the wide sweeps you've been making with the mouse.

I find FPS much easier on consoles, presumably because there's some sort of auto-aim tweaking going on to make up for the general imprecision of a thumbstick. Plus, triggers! How can you play an FPS without a trigger, man? Just feels wrong to me :-P

How...what...where...wha-...Wait. How can You say mouse is imprecise when it's pretty much the most precise (after drawing tablet's pens, but that's pretty much only for drawing) peripheral? You know, there is very simple method to not have it clogged too - clean it every now and then. For the sweeps - You don't need them, to move the pointer from one end to another of the screen all You need is slight wrist motion, it's all about proper DPI and mouse sensitivity settings.

Also, FPS with aim-assist, yuck. Where's the challenge and competitive gameplay when the aim assist does 50% of job for You?

As to the topic - surprised actually boxed sales go up in US. Guess people still love the lovely smell of freshly unwrapped box.

SonicWaffle:

Absolutionis:
Ah well, it's sad to have my preferred platform of gaming be dying for as long as I've been alive, but I'll live.

I've never really understood allure of PC gaming, personally, apart from an RTS or point-and-click that just doesn't work on console. Consoles are so much easier; put the disc in, play with a controller moulded to your hand rather than fiddly keyboard & mouse set-up, and that's all apart from the occasional patch.

As far as I'm concerned, my PC is just a magic box that makes porn happen :-P

Well, the Commodore Amiga was my first "gaming" platform, so I started with PC Gaming. The Mouse and Keyboard seems more natural to me. I'm still really awkward with the dual-analog setup for FPSs, but damn I can aim like few others with a mouse.

I'm not going to be pretentious and say that graphics are my primary draw to the PC. It's really the mods for me.
I've gotten so much fun out of the Civilization series and Half-Life 2 and Neverwinter Nights and Oblivion that I couldn't get out of consoles.
Plus, PC Gamers support multiplayer with tons and tons of people. I've had a lot of fun with Battlefield 2 with its 64-player multiplayer. Not touching BF3 until Origin goes away.

Don't get me wrong, I have and enjoy my PS3 at times, but given the choice I go for PC.

unacomn:
By Jove, could it be that the release of games people would want to play on their PC has caused a surge in PC sales? Who'd have thought.

Yes my son? Make it quick though, I'm in a middle of some calibrations.

AzrealMaximillion:

DVS BSTrD:
Snip Image
As long as there are RTS and RPGs there will be PC gamers.

As a PC gamer i'm going to have to agree that PC gaming isn't dead.

As a person who wants to makes sure people know the facts I can tell you that the U.S. PC gaming industry revenue has gone down by %50 in the past 10 years.
http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/PC_gaming

WOW has lost a million players and League of Legends is more popular.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.2 has been cancelled and the developer GSC is closed.

The Witcher 2 has been pirated 4.5 million times. (and this is after Spore was the most pirated game ever at 500 thousand in 2007)

My point is while PC Gaming isn`t dead, it has been very, very diminished.

If you're going to say things, and then link a source for your quotes, it would be best if the source ended up being a bad one instead of you not being able to comprehend the writing.

From your source:

It's important to keep in mind, however, that this NPD data concerns retail data only and does not include sales of digitally downloaded games, micro-transactions, online subscriptions (e.g. World of Warcraft), etc. The NPD Group recently started paying more attention to online revenue, but this data does not include that.

(Emphasis mine)

Also, there is really no way to prove how many times a game has been pirated. If there was then we'd have heard about it by now.

I just want people to know the facts.
I'm not trying to be a douche, but come on. it was written right there.

Edit: The paragraph right before it says that PC sales were 1.4B in 2005. but the table says they were 953million. I would not use this source, as all of the figures are supposedly from NDP, but only 2 of the sources are NDP.

Frizzle:
I'm not trying to be a douche, but come on. it was written right there.

Ha, you beat me to it. If you add in Steam and WoW subscriptions, the industry is almost certainly making MORE money than it ever has in the past -- even if WoW is finally starting to taper off. A little. Steam's revenue for last year was estimated at a BILLION, though no one knows for sure.

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2011/02/04/steam_revenue_nearly_hits_1_billion

Lordmarkus:
I never implied that PC games sales were low. I know that digital distribution is bigger than boxed sales. The news however concerns the boxed copies, which I asked if they are high or low in general. I can't start doing somersaults if PC games sales only grew from 100 000 to 157 000.

Well, I don't have the exact numbers in general, but from what I've seen of sales figures for individual games released on all three major platforms (PC, 360, PS3), the PC is usually around 20-30% of sales. So while the consoles are usually ahead of it, it's hardly insignificant. I know this doesn't say much about the overall boxed sales, but on an individual level PC boxed sales seem significant. Since most of these games were also sold digitally, it wouldn't suprise me if PC matched or even exceeded any other single platform on multiplatform releases.

*shakes head*
All this report tells me is that Ports of Console games sold really well on PC.
So AAA PC-gaming is still effectively dead since most of its titles are still just ports of popular console games.

However, the Indie market is absolutely BOOMING, and I hope it continues to do so, for both PC and Consoles.

SonicWaffle:

Andy Chalk:
Rather strangely, PC boxed retail sales saw a huge increase, jumping an amazing 57 percent year-over-year. Sales details weren't released but the launch of the PC-centric [relatively speaking] Battlefield 3 and Skyrim in fairly close proximity to one another seems the most likely explanation.

I seem to recall being told that Skyrim was developed for the Xbox? Possibly whoever told me was lying, of course.

Games like The Elder Scrolls are developed FOR PC and ported to Consoles. The problem though is that most consoles don't have the hardware to run these kind of games at full capacity.

Atmos Duality:
*shakes head*
All this report tells me is that Ports of Console games sold really well on PC.
So AAA PC-gaming is still effectively dead since most of its titles are still just ports of popular console games.

However, the Indie market is absolutely BOOMING, and I hope it continues to do so, for both PC and Consoles.

Ports of Console Games? They were released at the same time. You wouldn't call of XBox version of MW3 a port of the PS3 version. Especially not since the FPS was born on PC.

What exactly makes a "port" anyway? Does a PC Game have to be drastically different from a console version to be a PC game? No.

reduced hardware sales

I thought the 360 sold record numbers on Black Friday? Make up your damn minds.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397034,00.asp

Bhaalspawn:

SonicWaffle:

Andy Chalk:
Rather strangely, PC boxed retail sales saw a huge increase, jumping an amazing 57 percent year-over-year. Sales details weren't released but the launch of the PC-centric [relatively speaking] Battlefield 3 and Skyrim in fairly close proximity to one another seems the most likely explanation.

I seem to recall being told that Skyrim was developed for the Xbox? Possibly whoever told me was lying, of course.

Games like The Elder Scrolls are developed FOR PC and ported to Consoles. The problem though is that most consoles don't have the hardware to run these kind of games at full capacity.

Both Oblivion and Skyrim were developed for the 360 and then ported (badly) to PC and PS3.

AzrealMaximillion:

As a person who wants to makes sure people know the facts I can tell you that the U.S. PC gaming industry revenue has gone down by %50 in the past 10 years.
http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/PC_gaming

That chart doesn't tell us much of anything about the revenue for the U.S. PC game industry because it has not data on digital sales.

For all we know from that chart, total revenue has been increasing every year once digital sales are included.

WOW has lost a million players and League of Legends is more popular.

Aside from the point that all of these people are PC gamers, so it's not especially relevant to this discussion ("players of older game migrate to newer game"), it's also a strange PR move that LoL got away with. There are plenty of online games with more players than WoW, WoW is only the biggest subscription MMO. LoL is not the first F2P game that is bigger than WoW, not by a longshot (e.g. runescape, farmville).

The Witcher 2 has been pirated 4.5 million times. (and this is after Spore was the most pirated game ever at 500 thousand in 2007)

But the same article that tries to estimate that piracy rate for TW2 also says it sold over a million copies and is considered a success by the developers.

My point is while PC Gaming isn`t dead, it has been very, very diminished.

It doesn't feel that way to me. Compared to 2006/2007 there are more companies porting their console games to PC, and despite what some "hardcore" crowd says about ports, I enjoy playing PC versions in 1080p, with my Xbox controller for PC, and able to install mods, etc. As a PC gamer I'm just as happy with xbox360 ports as PS3 gamers are (since that's most of what they get as well).

Crono1973:

Bhaalspawn:

SonicWaffle:

I seem to recall being told that Skyrim was developed for the Xbox? Possibly whoever told me was lying, of course.

Games like The Elder Scrolls are developed FOR PC and ported to Consoles. The problem though is that most consoles don't have the hardware to run these kind of games at full capacity.

Both Oblivion and Skyrim were developed for the 360 and then ported (badly) to PC and PS3.

Badly? Because I have the PC version and it's running fine. How was it a bad port job?

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