by Anton Shilov
08/25/2008 | 11:49 PM
The talks that the market of video games for personal computers is on the decline have been around for many years now, but there are still new titles made available for the PC and, apparently, there are a number of opportunities for further growth, particularly online, says PC Gaming Alliance
Speaking at the Games Convention Developer’s Conference in Leipzig, the PC Gaming Alliance president Randy Stude announced that PC gaming was a $10.7 billion industry during the year of 2007, with retail sales accounting for just 30% of total revenues. According to the report, growth was largely driven by online revenues from Asia, the world’s largest market, which is approaching half of total worldwide sales.
“Our analysis clearly shows incredible growth in online PC gaming, proof that this industry is far stronger than anyone has reported, Today’s consumers shop where they live – online,” said Mr. Stude.
Online PC gaming revenue led the way in 2007 with $4.8 billion, nearly double the worldwide retail sales numbers for PC games. Digital distribution sales approached $2 billion, while advertising revenues from websites, portals, and in-game ads accounted for $800 million. Both are expected to grow substantially as major developers and publishers begin to adopt formal strategies to take advantage of new online opportunities.
According to DFC Intelligence, there is even more room for growth as the broadband market matures.
“By pioneering new business models, the PC has quietly remained the single leading platform for games, not only in terms of consumer usage, but revenue generation. The most fascinating thing about PC gaming is its ability to attract such a diverse audience, both demographically and geographically. The real key has been the rapid growth in penetration of broadband-connected PCs in all markets around the world. Broadband-connected PCs are the key driver of growth for PC gaming. DFC Intelligence estimated that by the end of 2007 less than one-third of households in the top 20 markets for games had a high-speed Internet connection. That clearly indicates that there is still plenty of growth to come,” said David Cole, an analyst with DFC Intelligence.
PC Gaming Alliance is a non-profit organization that unites hardware and software creators, game developers and publishers, and others committed to the PC gaming market with the common purpose of advancing the PC as a worldwide gaming platform. Currently the organization is comprised of Acer, Activision Publishing, Advanced Micro Devices/ATI, Dell/Alienware, Epic Games, Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Nvidia Corp. and Razer announced formation of the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA).
It is indisputable fact that online gaming brings truly high revenues to game developers and publishers on various markets, but in order to do that, video games should be able to run on PCs that are enough affordable for the masses. Meanwhile, companies like AMD/ATI, Intel Corp. or Nvidia Corp. are interested in advancing high-end PC gaming in order to sell rather expensive computer components. Still, game developers are also interested in advanced computers as they allow them to compete against each other in terms of visual quality and game experience. As a result, based on the results of the research (only 30% of games are acquired in retail and less of them are actually high-end games), the main task of PCGA is to find the right balance of interests inside the association, which is likely to lead to creation of higher quality video games for general public as well as better hardware.