The PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) has issued a few bullet point statistics from research into the status of the worldwide PC gaming market.
The group’s Horizon Report stated that the global sales of PC gaming software rose 3.0 percent from 2008 to 2009, totaling $13.1 billion last year. The industry has taken a remarkable turn towards digital distribution, which is reflected in the report—less than 20.0 percent of all revenues in the category were derived from the sale of retail boxed copies.
The report, authored by DFC Intelligence, claimed that the “high-end subscription” game market suffered from a lack of new releases and a declining number of users of older products. Additionally, free-to-play and social networking games caused PC game revenue to “decline in some markets.”
GP asked PCGA President Randy Stude, who is also a Director at Intel, if the drop in retail boxed sales worried the organization:
Not in the slightest. Piracy has forced the majority of new gaming markets to turn to new business models. The number of gamers playing non boxed games is roughly double the boxed game market. This is fueling massive growth and revenues for companies that are supporting these models. PC gaming grew 3% in a year where boxed games saw a reduction of over 10% worldwide.
In response to a chicken and the egg-type question over whether a lack of retail shelf space for PC games contributed to lower sales or if lower sales contributed to shrinking shelf space, Stude stated, “PC gaming doesn't need shelf space anymore. Digital distribution and online gaming were born on the PC and will continue growth for years to come.”
Lastly we wondered what it was like for someone like Stude—an Intel man—to work alongside competitors such as AMD (AMD Division Manager Ritche Corpus is the PCGA’s Treasurer). Stude offered:
In the PC industry we are all part of a bigger vision. With over a billion PC's worldwide we must cooperate with each other or our platform becomes stale. We sit alongside each other in a vast number of forums aligned to the common goal of growing the PC industry and continually innovating.