Report: PC gaming software sales reached $20 billion in 2012

The PC Gaming Aliiance has found that PC gaming has grown yet again, this time to $20 billion in 2012.


The PC Gaming Alliance, an organization which includes both AMD and Intel, have announced the results of two new commissioned reports. Unsurprisingly, the group finds that PC gaming has grown yet again.

According to DFC Intelligence, the global PC gaming software market has grown to $20 billion in 2012, an increase of 8% over 2011. Games like Diablo 3 (pictured), Guild Wars 2, and Minecraft are credited for bolstering the industry, in spite of the decline of subscription MMOs and increased competition from mobile games.

The report points out that China is the fastest-growing and largest market for PC games with nearly $7 billion of revenue. Not only does China have a rapidly-growing economy, the console market is non-existent there, giving rise to PC as the dominant platform.

There are over one billion PC gamers in the world now, and DFC expects the industry to grow to $25.7 billion by 2016. As Matt Ployhar, PCGA president pointed out at a press conference yesterday, "you need to add three consoles to get close to that figure."

Jon Peddie Research also offered some further insight into the demographics of PC gamers in America. According to their report, the average Windows-based PC gamer is now 35 years old--a high number which the "PC industry wants to try to reverse" by appealing to younger gamers.

However, the "enthusiast" market of the PC is a significant driver of revenue to the platform. For example, although only 5% of GPUs sold are top of the line, they represent 20% of GPU revenue. Thousand dollar cards like the Nvidia Titan "have helped that situation," JPR's Ted Pollak pointed out.

Pollak says the key for future growth in the PC gaming market is education. "You have a great experience for only $600," he said, emphasizing that many PCs on the market today are gaming-capable, even if not advertised as such.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 27, 2013 5:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Report: PC gaming software sales reached $20 billion in 2012.

    The PC Gaming Aliiance has found that PC gaming has grown yet again, this time to $20 billion in 2012.

    • reply
      March 27, 2013 5:02 AM

      Because PC gaming is dying!

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        March 27, 2013 5:44 AM

        You'd still have to be insane or rich to make a PC only game.

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          March 27, 2013 6:23 AM

          just look at square enix!

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            March 27, 2013 7:15 AM

            Or Blizzard, or InXile, or Obsidian, or ...

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          March 27, 2013 6:38 AM

          *thinks about Toady for a moment* hmmm yep, insane. insanely AWESOME.

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          March 27, 2013 7:39 AM

          Yup, all those indy's are insane.

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          March 27, 2013 7:42 AM

          steam exists

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            March 27, 2013 10:19 AM

            ... with no guarantee of getting onto it. An inventor would laugh in your face if you asked for serious money to make a PC game.

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              March 27, 2013 10:23 AM

              ... with no guarantee of getting onto it. An Investor* would laugh in your face if you asked for serious money to make a PC game.

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                March 27, 2013 2:12 PM

                But the question is... would an INVENTOR laugh nor not?
                (sorry had to troll)

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          March 27, 2013 8:03 AM

          Silly blanket statement. There are genres which do not work well with consoles, and the demand for games in those genres is there. Especially if you're a indie / smaller developer it makes sense to concentrate your efforts anyway.

          Sure, you can go the route of "well you could spend those hours making an FPS for all the platforms since those are what brings in the money". But where exactly do you stop if you start down that road?

          "You'd have to be insane or rich to make anything but a multiplatform modern military shooter with abundant orange and blue colors".

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            March 27, 2013 10:22 AM

            No, I'm talking about mobile. Do the business plan in your head. Doing a PC-only game makes no sense, unless, as I said, you are rich (Blizzard/any kickstarter).

            Even indies are better served by making a mobile game. They are just costing themselves money (insane) by not making a mobile version. They have to pray they get onto Steam or they'll go bankrupt.

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              March 27, 2013 1:44 PM

              ... Does not contradict what I said about genres and latter part is proven wrong by numerous recent pc games.

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              March 27, 2013 2:30 PM

              no, theres simply genres that don't translate well into other platforms other than PC (simulation, RTS)

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              March 27, 2013 5:20 PM

              Like world of tanks?

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          March 27, 2013 2:00 PM

          That's our st4rdog. /cue sitcom ending credit music.

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          March 27, 2013 2:29 PM


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        March 27, 2013 7:59 AM

        Hell, at this point I don't remember the last time someone said that unironically. Get over it people.

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      March 27, 2013 5:15 AM

      PCGA is still a thing?

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        March 27, 2013 8:52 AM

        It's a running joke of an industry organization, with members like Gears of War creator Epic Games, used console game sales titan GameStop, always-connected-DRM-mouse-maker Razer, and now-nonexistent 38 Studios. Microsoft and NVidia used to be members, but left.

        I'm more interested in companies that have a true vested interest in the PC as a gaming platform, like Valve, Unity Technologies, and Wolfire. The PCGA was just a silly misguided marketing front spun up at GDC 2008.

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      March 27, 2013 5:47 AM

      Does this include stuff like LoL DLC?

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      March 27, 2013 7:48 AM

      WE DID IT!!!!!!!

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      March 27, 2013 7:51 AM

      Hats for TF2. Everything else was pirated.

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      March 27, 2013 7:55 AM

      I'd love to know how much of that was through Steam. Given how quickly the PC gaming industry has adopted digital distribution, I have to assume it's the lions share.

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      March 27, 2013 7:58 AM

      Once Intel finally steps up with decent integrated GPUs, it will be nice when a company releases a game that can be played on all available PCs.

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      March 27, 2013 8:10 AM

      Nice try PCGA, but I don't think you can count the millions of free games EA was forced to give away as "growth".

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        March 27, 2013 8:49 AM

        Nice try Haxim, but this is a 2012 report not a 2013.

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      March 27, 2013 2:24 PM

      RIP PC Gaming.

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      March 27, 2013 2:42 PM

      All of us are pirates!

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        March 27, 2013 5:45 PM

        That's on tonight...that's the highlight of my Wednesday's anymore these days (changed it so I don't make anybody's head explode).

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      March 27, 2013 5:09 PM

      It's dead Jim...

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