Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 24, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 24, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Analyst: Globally, PC game revenue now exceeds console game revenue
Analyst: Globally, PC game revenue now exceeds console game revenue
April 25, 2014 | By Christian Nutt




In a new interview with UK computer industry website PCR, DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole says that PCs now generate bigger revenues than console games -- as core gamers now focus on the PC, rather than the console, as their primary game device.

"Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC. The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience," Cole told PCR.

DFC predicted the dominance of the PC over the console for revenue generation in 2011 -- saying, at the time, that it would happen in 2014. That appears to have come true.

However, Cole does allow that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One should see the console segment make a future increase. DFC told GamesIndustry.biz earlier this year that it expected global PC game revenues to cross $25 billion.


Related Jobs

Next Games
Next Games — Helsinki, Finland
[10.24.14]

Senior Level Designer
Activision Publishing
Activision Publishing — Santa Monica, California, United States
[10.24.14]

Tools Programmer-Central Team
Crystal Dynamics
Crystal Dynamics — Redwood City, California, United States
[10.23.14]

Senior/Lead VFX Artist
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand
[10.23.14]

Level Designer










Comments


Karl Schmidt
profile image
Just commenting to say: great news, I'm a long-time PC gamer and would love to develop for them again. Oh and the image you guys picked for this article is pretty funny.

Christian Nutt
profile image
Yeah, it came out of a market research report I read years ago, and I've been hanging onto it since then.

I never was a PC gamer past about 1993, so the fact that I'm more interested in it than PS3/XB1 is kind of telling, I think, as regards what happened to the market. Of course, I still like Nintendo's platforms a lot -- they still offer something different.

Dane MacMahon
profile image
The only think stopping someone from developing for PC now would be being owned by Sony or Microsoft, I suspect. The market on PC has been there for years and years now. The dark days of 2004-2008 or so are long gone.

Alfa Etizado
profile image
Before there were bunch of people gaming on a console too but rendering no game sales, because they were bootlegging everything. Digital distribution made it easier for lots of people to go legit. That's gotta be part of it.

Kujel s
profile image
I was born a PC gamer but left for quite a few years and now I'm finding my way back but mostly for strategy games which consoles get few if any :( Though I'm staying away from steam, I can thank Lucifer for GOG :)

Michael G
profile image
You guys want to have your minds blown?
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/127259/Nvidia_PC_Game_Revenue_
To_Surpass_Console_In_2014.php

zed zeek
profile image
[quote]DFC predicted the dominance of the PC over the console for revenue generation in 2011 -- saying, at the time, that it would happen in 2014.[/quote]

[quote]In a new interview with UK computer industry website PCR, DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole says that PCs now generate bigger revenues than console games[/quote]

AKA grain of salt.
If One looks at any large game company, activision/EA/nintendo/ubisoft and down the list where they report in their financial statements what segment pc/console/mobile etc they get their money from tells a completely different story. So wheres all this PC coming from? the indies perhaps:)

Andreas Papathanasis
profile image
I suspect it's coming from free to play games (i.e. Riot, Valve), though don't have any data on this.

Dane MacMahon
profile image
No one knows what those companies are making off the PC because sales figures are not reported.

Tuomas Pirinen
profile image
Perhaps combining China (Crossfire and other PC games are huge there with no console presence), South Korea (PC country), Russia (ditto) and few other big PC game markets, as well as all the Blizzard's PC efforts plus Steam and indies, this is may well be true. Still sounds quite surprising to me. I would love to see the data. Shows that the Western-centric data can skew your POV.

Dane MacMahon
profile image
It says worldwide, so yes it is counting those countries. And what would be wrong with doing so? Does that make it any less valid?

When I lived in Eastern Europe for a while everyone was a PC gamer.

Tuomas Pirinen
profile image
Absolutely nothing wrong with this, I am just surprised, we are all so used to seeing the console domination on all charts. Good on PC gaming! As I said, I would love to see the data, not that I doubt it as such.

Dane MacMahon
profile image
Indeed.

Xbox domination was very much an American thing. Worldwide that console came in last by a hair, which is amusing to think about. In any case PC has always dominated outside of US/UK/Japan and I think digital delivery is making that more and more important to publishers. Suddenly you don't need to ship boxes across the world to take advantage of that audience.

As a PC only gamer I felt like I was going extinct 8 years ago but now I feel like we're going to dominate the decade. Funny how things go on cycles.

Alan Barton
profile image
So PC gaming is ok. :)

I am not at all surprised.

I've always suspected news of the decline of PC and PC gaming, is part of tactical PR campaigns from different companies. Some companies are trying to use spin to move consumers away from PC and PC gaming. Companies like console manufacturers and tablet manufacturers.

Over the years its become ever more noticeable. For example, I find it very interesting how around the time when each new generation of consoles is released, we get a similar pattern. For example, from the earlier generations of console releases, we had the false stories about how consoles had better graphics than PC and then later, around the PS3/360 console generation release time, we got the end of PC gaming stories. Now around the current console generation release time of PS4/XBoxOne, we have the end of PC stories (which are also convenient for tablet manufacturers to join in the chorus to say, hey don't use a PC, use a tablet, whilst the console companies say, hey don't use a PC, use a console etc...). :)

It appears business is all very tactical at the manufacturers global scale of running a business. e.g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_%28public_relations%29

Jim Burns
profile image
I am not a PC gamer nor do I pretend to be one. Consoles and Handhelds are still my bread and butter.

Christian Philippe Guay
profile image
Finally. Well, it shows that the majority is actually smarter than what Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo expected. Next round, game consoles are gone or will take the place of specialized Low End PCs.

John Trauger
profile image
That would be massively amusing, a coming full circle. The Atari 2600 was a specialized version of the 400/800 computer.

Nathan Mates
profile image
Given that the Atari 2600 released in 1977, and the Atari 400 released in 1979, it would be accurate to say that the console came first. Not the PC.

Charles Forbin
profile image
The Atari 5200

Jason Wilson
profile image
Excellent news. Now it's about time publishers and developers begin to behave accordingly.

Bob Johnson
profile image
this always happens in console transitions. pc gaming sales have their heyday at the tail end of console lifecycles into the beginning of the next -gen console lifecycle. IT's because of the processing power gap is greatest at the tail end and because because newly launched consoles are at their highest price points with least amount of true next gen games.


Sure Pcgaming is easier than ever. But it still has too many hassles for most and it isn't as comfy in the living room although that is somewhat changing as well with better tv and controller support.

You never know what the future holds. But I don't see much reason why things won't swing back to consoles. MS still seems like they would rather you get an xbox and a windows pc so pcgaming on windows will never get as much attention as it deserves. It would take Valve or Apple or Google to change things.



Dane MacMahon
profile image
You're not really wrong. A ton of people (in the US and UK especially) enjoy the convenience of a console, and that impulse is not going away.

However, the question is how long will consoles be the place to go for that? And at what point does the variety and benefits of modern PC gaming overcome the rare exclusives from Sony and Microsoft? With home theater PCs getting easier and cheaper than ever, specific Steam interfaces for the couch and continued press support for the PC being the best platform to play on at some point perhaps a laptop with an HDMI out becomes the real convenient and popular solution?

It's going to be interesting, for sure.

Bart Stewart
profile image
There is exactly and only one practical question that could come out of this: will US/UK game developers go back to designing/developing for the PC first and then porting to consoles?

If not, then this story is interesting but functionally irrelevant to PC gamers. We'll continue to be expected to be grateful to get AAA games at all, even if they are crippled by console-specific fetishes such as the inability to save anytime, minimal graphics options, UIs designed for controllers, and a severe restriction on in-game verbs -- which directly affects what kind of gameplay is even possible -- because controllers have fewer buttons than keyboard+mouse.

Happily, PC gamers are enjoying a golden age of gaming right now, not because of "it has to sell a zillion copies on consoles or it's not worth doing" AAA developers, but because of Kickstarter. Treating the PC as the bastard stepchild for over a decade now, with shoddy ports, hobbled gameplay (due to memory and interface limitations), launch delays, and exclusivity deals is something that PC gamers don't have to put up with anymore as independent games for the PC get progressively more ambitious. (The spike in distribution of Kickstartered games through Steam Greenlight, and possibly available through Steamboxes, doesn't hurt PC sales, either.)

As of 2014, if PC gaming is seeing something like a resurgence, I don't think you can put it all down to end-of-last-console-generation defections. With the new financing and distribution options, the PC is once again the primary (or only) platform for more developers than ever before. I wouldn't be surprised if gamers are responding to that.

Alan Barton
profile image
@"will US/UK game developers go back to designing/developing for the PC first"

For indie developers, they never left PC gaming.

For the few remaining big AAA developers and publishers, its more complex. AAA developers and publishers love and hate consoles. They hate that the console manufacturers effectively control their products access to their customers and they hate the extra cost of selling a game on a console compared with a PC (because the console company wants a slice of their profits). However that is offset by big fat exclusive console deals and sweetened further with co-marketing deals, where the console companies help promote the publishers games etc..

Also the bricks and mortar games shops are kept in business by the consoles. Without consoles they couldn't survive in a world of digital downloads. So they understandably strongly back consoles and the AAA developers and publishers gain from using them, even though again they don't like the extra cost of using them, but they still get more sales.

So in terms of total numbers of games on PC, if a few more AAA games appear on PC, it won't add up to much more compared with the endless flood of indie games already appearing on PC. (Just look at Steam for numbers of indie games appearing).

But in terms of play time being put into indie games and overall indie market share, I think the only thing of consequence is that more AAA games on PC, if it happens, will further reduce the chances for already struggling indie games to get played.

Dane MacMahon
profile image
@ Bart

The key to PC gaming still today is diversity. I get ports of console blockbusters 9 times out of 10, all the indie scenes that are hip today, PC focused niche titles from Kickstarter and 30 years of classics that mostly all run on a modern machine very easily.

A lot of the PC's resurgence could be said to be rooted in the platform becoming more console-like, with a centralized store and interface, controller support, etc. However the diversity of experience is what hits the homerun in my opinion.

Bernie M
profile image
PC as luxury item? I dunno... I have PC for a good 30 years now, and always out of necessity. Same with mobile. For 20 years now you have to have mobile if you work anything in life.

Un Subject
profile image
The problem with some of the congratulatory backslapping here is that it only takes the headline - that global PC revenues now exceed global console revenues - and ignores some of the key findings.

Assuming the market assessment is correct (and that's a big assumption, considering that I'd need to pay to read the full report to fully understand the basis of those figures), it is the revenue generated by F2Ps and MOBAs that appears to be a big factor in fueling this PC revenue growth.

Given how much of a kicking F2P titles can get around these parts (especially anything linked to Zynga or King) it may be very misleading to just take revenue figures as a sign of PC gaming victory here.

David Canela
profile image
I want the PC, console and mobile gaming spaces to be healthy and grow the number of people who play. I don't give a rat's ass who "wins" the console wars, whether PC sells more or less than consoles or any of that stuff. Being the biggest fish in a tiny pond still sucks. Being a small fish in a large ocean can still be great.

As a gamer, what matters to me are input devices (shooters on a gamepad? no thanks) and the overall physical experience (preferably comfortably reclined on a couch), as well as of course rich, diverse (gameplay) experiences. Whether this comes from a steambox, a ps4 or a magical tablet that has enough performance to compete, hooked up to my tv and a controller does not really matter that much.


none
 
Comment: