DFC Intelligence has predicted that global revenue from video game software will grow from $52 billion in 2011 to $70 billion in 2017. This growth of revenue is split three ways between PCs with 39 percent, game console systems with 36 percent, and mobile devices with 25 percent.
"While the game industry is expanding on all fronts with new demographic groups playing games on a regular basis, the core consumer still remains male, age 12 to 30," says David Cole, CEO of DFC Intelligence. "In every segment, the key growth factor is improving access and monetization capabilities to that core demographic. Digital distribution, already widely accepted among core gamers globally, is clearly broadening access to products and driving much of the industry growth."
DFC worked with Xfire in order to quantify the success of new PC products. In the past year, the PC game market in North America and Europe has seen record usage of products like League of Legends, Diablo III and Minecraft; with no retail presence for two of those three, the games have consistently seen as many as one million active users a day.
"DFC is the ideal partner to help Xfire analyze gameplay data from our user base of more than 21 million gamers in North America, Europe and Asia," said Malcolm CasSelle, CEO, Xfire. "Xfire has a deep insight into game trends because our app natively tracks the number of players - and hours played - for each title, by country. Xfire tracks the growth trajectory of new titles at launch, including which titles keep a share of gamers' time and which games get dropped in favor of newer titles."
DFC also partnered with monetization firm Live Gamer to better know the habits of various free-to-play products. As it turns out, purchase behavior of core consumers of an F2P game is much like it is for a traditional boxed retail product.
"Gamers tend to make purchases several times a year in bulk sums of around $20 to $50," added Cole. "A successful game should count on an average paying consumer spending $75 a year for two years."
Furthermore, DFC found that while core gamers are embracing mobile devices in growing numbers, they are not satisfied with the games in social networks like Facebook. DFC forecasts that browser and social network games will exceed $8 billion in revenue by 2017, dependent on having stronger appeal to core gamers.
"The bottom line is core gamers spend money on products they like and right now the game offerings on sites like Facebook are simply not appealing to that demographic," said Cole.