The PC games biz was worth around $11 billion in 2008 including massively multiplayer online games, says a new report from the PC Gaming Alliance and DFC Intelligence.
According to the report, the growth of online digital distribution, the growth of free games with a virtual item purchase model, and the sale of game cards at major retailers like 7-Eleven were the three biggest trends of the year.
That $11 billion figure makes the PC the largest single games platform in the world, says the PCGA, and the lead platform in both developed and emerging markets. The North American and Western European market alone had revenues of $6 billion in 2008.
The report says top games regularly generate over $50 million at retail revenue, with MMOs generating over $100 million in annual revenue after 5+ years. World of WarCraft
ís annual revenues are put at $1 billion.
In emerging markets like Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, the relative rarity of high-end systems has been a major driving force for online casual games. Major portals such as Pogo and Yahoo! now generate over $100 million in annual revenues.
The PCGA is a non-profit organization consisting of game publishers, developers and hardware manufacturers interested in promoting the PC as a games platform. The new report was compiled by research and consulting firm DFC Intelligence, and can be read in full at the PCGA website
(warning: .PDF download).