PC software hit record $20b revenue in 2012

PC Gaming Alliance report shows 8 per cent worldwide growth, with China leading the pack

A report commissioned by the PC Gaming Alliance indicates that PC software sales hit a record $20 billion worldwide last year.

That figure represents growth of 8 per cent year-on-year, and 90 per cent since the first PC Gaming Alliance report in 2008. Every geographical segment tracked by the report showed signs of improvement, particularly China, which contributed $6.8 billion of global revenue.

"DFC was surprised the industry still showed growth in 2012 with the decline of large subscription MMOs, heavy attention being paid to the impact of mobile games, and the struggle of many social network games," said David Cole, an analyst for DFC Intelligence, which compiles the report in conjunction with JPR Research.

"However, 2012 saw significantly increased distribution of successful titles that positively impacted the market, including Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Minecraft and the Mists of Pandaria expansion to World of Warcraft."

The report suggests that there are now 1 billion PC gamers worldwide, around a quarter of which can be identified as "core" players interested in traditional genres like strategy, action and role-playing games. The global PC software industry is expected to grow to $25.7 billion in sales by 2016.

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Latest comments (7)

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd6 years ago
Hard to say how accurate this report is when they got a grand total of zero data from Steam or games publishers sold on Steam, as per Valve policy. I do not doubt, though, that PC is a healthy core market.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 28th March 2013 9:48pm

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Philip Denton Sales Assistant/Trainer, Stormfront Retail Limited6 years ago
PC gaming is clearly dying, I wonder how that compares to home console sales/growth.
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Murray Rigluth Director Development, Sony DADC6 years ago
@Philip - I'm not so sure that PC Gaming is dying... Maybe from a boxed product perspective - but Digital Downloads are continuously increasing year on year - and as new and emerging markets start getting good content at 'local' market prices - this trend is set to continue.
The PC always gets a bad rep - mainly due to so many 'ported' games from console - but 'true' PC designed games ALWAYS do well...
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers6 years ago
Retail for PC software is basically dead, except for occasional spasms of life that accompany the launch of Blizzard products and maybe stuff like SimCity. However, the digital market is now established so it's a great place for lower tier developers and and that also makes it worth it to bring games that a few years ago would be console only to PC as well.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 6 years ago
PC gaming is clearly dying, I wonder how that compares to home console sales/growth.
This is surely sarcasm. Surely. I mean... Seriously? Torchlight 2 (digital only) sold over 1m units from its release in September 2012, to year-end. Even the smaller-scale dungeon-crawler Legend of Grimrock sold 600k (again, digital only), from its release in April 2012 to year-end. And they're both PC only indie titles.

It must be sarcasm.
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Andreia Quinta Photographer, Studio52 London6 years ago
The self-called PC master race and it's games are far from dying, quite the opposite in fact. Like David mentioned, retail yes, absolutely dead, but the digital sales must be astounding, Steam alone must be jaw dropping, it's a shame I can never find any figures.
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Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania6 years ago
There's always that 2011 1bn estimate we can go by. A bit of creative (and obviously flawed ) number crunching and we can extrapolate revenue for these years as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 4th April 2013 1:06am

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