PC gaming was a $10.7 billion industry in 2007, according to the PC Gaming Alliance. The nonprofit organization, whose members include Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Dell, unveiled the results of its research into the market at the GC Developer's conference in Leipzig this week.
The Alliance's bi-annual "Horizons" report also found that only about 30 percent of total revenues came from retail sales of PC games, with growth driven largely by online revenue from Asia, the world's largest market for PC gaming with close to half of all worldwide sales.
Online gaming revenues in 2007 approached $4.8 billion, says the report, which the Alliance says doubles the worldwide retail sales numbers for PC games. Advertising revenue from websites, portals and in-game ads collectively accounted for $800 million ove total revenues.
DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole says that pioneering new business models has strengthened the PC platform for games.
"The most fascinating thing about PC gaming is its ability to attract such a diverse audience, both demographically and geographically," he says.
The key to the industry's future growth, Cole says, is for broadband internet to proliferate further to more PCs in more markets. DFC Intelligence estimated that by the end of 2007, less than one-third of households in the top 20 markets for games had a high-speed Internet connection.
"That clearly indicates that there is still plenty of growth to come," says Cole.