Report: PC gaming on the rise

The PC Gaming Alliance annual report states that global PC game sales have risen 15% year-over-year for a record $18.6 billion in 2011.


The PC gaming market has never been healthier, according to a report from the not-for-profit consortium PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA). The report claims that in 2011, the industry reached a global record $18.6 billion, a growth of 15 percent over the prior year. The report cites burgeoning foreign markets and social games as large factors in the findings.

The results of the PCGA's third annual "Horizons" research report found that China is growing at almost twice the rate of the global market, bringing in $6 billion for a total growth of 27 percent. The US, UK, Korea, Japan, and Germany saw increased revenue of 11%, by comparison. Asian companies, in general, are noted for spurring on sales in their markets.

The report also cites Zynga and Nexon (of MapleStory fame) as frontrunners in the PC space. Zynga in particular doubled its revenue to roughly $1.1 billion, putting it on-par with Nexon. Zynga and the German company Bigpoint were noted for pushing the free-to-play model, already popular in Asian territories, into North America and Europe.

The report also notes the movers and shakers of big-budget PC games from the western market, like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Rift, along with multiplatform titles like Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Looking forward, the report speculates that the industry will grow to $25.5 billion (37 percent increase) by 2015, thanks to increased broadband penetration and digital delivery. The report is from a PC gaming coalition with a vested interest in trumpeting the industry's health, but even so, the rumors of PC's death have greatly exaggerated.

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  • reply
    March 7, 2012 8:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Report: PC gaming on the rise.

    The PC Gaming Alliance annual report states that global PC game sales have risen 15% year-over-year for a record $18.6 billion in 2011.

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      March 7, 2012 8:27 AM

      In yo face.

      Thank you steam for being amazing.

      Fuck you origin, I hate you and will never ever buy an ea game as long as they are on it.

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        March 7, 2012 8:50 AM

        umad bro?

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        March 7, 2012 9:22 AM

        SC5 :(

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        March 7, 2012 9:31 AM

        What's going on with Origin? I'm not using it yet, but I hadn't heard anything bad about it.

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          March 7, 2012 9:39 AM

          Only issue I've had with it is with both KoA and ME3 the release date checker took like 20 tries to finally work. That part is a piece of shit. The actual origin itself seems decent.

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            March 7, 2012 10:28 AM

            Luckily you do this a day before they are actually released.

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          March 7, 2012 9:52 AM

          It's more that it does nothing better than steam, it's more crap to install, and EA is notorious for turning things into crap. At least those are my reasons for not buying anything that uses Origin.

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        March 7, 2012 9:34 AM

        If the 2011 stats are anything like the previous ones, this number's being propped up by f2p + microtransaction games.

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      March 7, 2012 8:28 AM

      its because most gamers finally hit their 4-5 year "old parts" limit and now most have computers that can actually play the new games :P

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        March 7, 2012 8:51 AM

        Haha yeah. Ever since I built my rig in 2009 (with a slight upgrade this year) I've been spending a much larger amount of time on my PC.

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        March 7, 2012 8:55 AM

        Yeah, not buying that. Most current games can be played on 4-5 year old systems. Progress has been held back by development targeted at 7 year old console hardware.

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      March 7, 2012 8:49 AM

      Four. Four PC games tip the scale. Four that I don't play nor will I ever play. Meanwhile consoles get 3,000% more games; variety.

      I know this article is suppose to be good news, and it's certainly nice to read about it, but I still feel that PC gaming has a long, long way to go. PC gaming has been declining steadily for the past five years, and so has general gaming innovation. Without new systems to design games for, artists and developers have been pumping out more of the same.

      Consoles are just a bad idea that became very popular. They're antithetical to human nature. Humans are creatures that love to create, experience, and discover new things - sticking us with an unchanging console for 5 years is torturous.

      Some day there will be a PC renaissance that will blow consoles out of the water. Some day the population will frown upon being 'stuck' with their technology. They want to upgrade, they want control over their purchases, they want new horizons. The walled-garden ecosystem of the gaming console is antiquated, most people just don't know it yet.

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        March 7, 2012 8:54 AM

        This posted is dated 2003.

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        March 7, 2012 8:57 AM

        "Consoles are just a bad idea that became very popular" Huh?

        If they are popular, doesn't that make them at least a decent idea? A fixed platform makes development easier, and the general population does not like wondering if they can run a game or not. Also the general population is familiar with sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

        PC exclusives are starting to come back, so what's holding back innovation for developers now? Why would the general population suddenly want to spend 3-4 times more to have the latest and greatest, when they have clearly shown they are fine with consoles? Your post seems really out of touch with reality, but maybe I am missing something.

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        March 7, 2012 9:02 AM

        I own a gaming PC, and X360 and a PS3, and I have to disagree. I perceive the variety and quantity of games to be much higher on PC. If I were to generalize about gaming on each of these platforms, I'd say that PCs get more interesting but flawed titles, and consoles get more polished big-budget (but less innovative) titles.

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        March 7, 2012 9:07 AM

        Oh, pipe down, dumpo.

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        March 7, 2012 9:08 AM


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        March 7, 2012 9:11 AM

        Seems to me PC gaming's decline started to lessen or even reverse over the past 2 years. There has been much more emphasis on it even from the major publishers and the indie guys have been dropping tons of great games on the platform. PC ports have generally been getting better with games like DXHR and Alan Wake. All this comes at a time where the gulf between PC hardware capabilities and those of consoles has been widening further and further.

        Add to that the fact that the 'insert disc and play' paradigm of consoles it becoming much less accurate. The number of console games that require day one patching or setting up some developer specific account or just shipped with game breaking bugs is about on parity or even worse in some cases than the current PC experience when using steam.

        The last major change is the explosion of free, f2p or extremely cheap and high quality games available for the PC. You could step into a PC today and have years of gaming available without paying a dime.

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        March 7, 2012 9:15 AM

        Consoles lower the barriers of entry into the gaming market for everyone.

        they are popular because you dont need to know how to build the best system, how to download the best updates and patches, how to play on a keyboard, where to find friends, which social app needed to connect, learn pc hardware, spec requirements, drive space, its just EASY.

        buy disc, insert game. play with everyone. consoles arent going anywhere.

        remember as a kid youd save up all year to buy a pc to play quake? now kids can get the console for their birthday, save for a week to get a game, and they are in. its instant gratification.

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        March 7, 2012 9:16 AM

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        March 7, 2012 9:45 AM


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        March 7, 2012 10:31 AM


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        March 7, 2012 11:18 AM

        the "PC Renaisance" was/is Steam.

        Never has there been greater exposure to indie titles, with new gameplay / ideas.

        that and Minecraft.

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        March 7, 2012 11:19 AM


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      March 7, 2012 8:59 AM

      But but but PC Gaming is dead?!

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      March 7, 2012 9:06 AM

      I like the message, but I hate the messenger and the data points. Their Western examples were two MMOs and two multiplatform titles with a laundry list of "you can't do that on PC" shortcomings. The PCGA was just chasing after sales numbers, not true innovation. This announcement sounds like something that should've been announced at the ultra-salesman-heavy DICE conference, not GDC.

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      March 7, 2012 9:10 AM

      I am so glad this company exists because they are awesome and do so much.

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      March 7, 2012 9:26 AM

      Well, I don't really put much credence in studies like this, I've seen it first-hand how much gamers want to play on the PC just from my friends on XBL. They tell me how much they'd like to get a gaming PC but can't afford it and when I tell them how much it cost's to build a PC which is gaming capable they hesitate due to the misconception that it's difficult to system build. I always tell people it's like building legos, which I honestly believe it is, but I had similar reservations, just perhaps stronger motivation to overcome them. Hopefully the rumors about the Steambox are true. Once consumers get a real taste of what it's like to game on the PC they might be more apt to investing further for more advanced hardware and be motivated to gain the expertise to system build or even blow the money on a pre-built.

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      March 7, 2012 9:57 AM

      Told you so \m/

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        March 7, 2012 10:09 AM

        ^ This is the man responsible for the 15% boost.

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      March 7, 2012 10:25 AM

      Last year was fucking awesome for PC.

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      March 7, 2012 10:49 AM

      The PC Gaming Alliance normally doesn't give a shit about the PC, must have cost them some stress to release those numbers.

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      March 7, 2012 11:16 AM

      Games are literally EASIER to get and play pirated than with origin. That said, steam is the industries most amazing achievement in decades.

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      March 7, 2012 11:20 AM

      I miss when shacknews had dumb photos for articles, especially for pointless shit like the pc gaming alliance.

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      March 7, 2012 11:23 AM

      I'm sorry but there are some companies / individuals that really have no place in that organization:

      Q: What companies are members of the PCGA?
      A: PCGA membership currently includes: Dell/Alienware, Corsair, Intel, AMD, Epic, Capcom, Razer, GameStop, Digital River EA's Origin, Arxan, Logitech, PyxelArts, Qualcomm, and the EMA. Any company involved in the PC gaming industry is welcome to join the PCGA. Membership is expected to fluctuate based on the desires and needs of the initiatives being tackled at anyone given point of time.

      Q: Who’s in charge of the PCGA?
      A: Matt Ployhar from Intel is the President. Other board members include Mark Rein from Epic, Christian Svensson from Capcom, and Min-Liang Tan from Razer. That said, there’s really no one “in charge” of the PCGA. The board collectively governs the alliance and sub-committees that perform much of the work. We gather input from our members and endeavor to make unified decisions.

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        March 7, 2012 1:35 PM

        HOLY SHIT! nice find! Mark rein should NOT be on that board!
        *cue mark rein quotes bashing pc gaming and gamers*

        this is as bad as microsoft being a publisher, talk about fox guarding the hen house.

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      March 7, 2012 1:16 PM

      2011 was a huge year for pc gaming. 2012 is looking to be another great year. Cant wait for Guild War 2, Torchlight 2, Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2.

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        March 7, 2012 2:34 PM

        So many sequels. Any new IP coming out?

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      March 7, 2012 11:14 PM

      Console gaming is only good for two things, keeping kids entertained and adolescents who can't afford to get a PC. PC gaming is the way of the future. Hooah!

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