PC Gaming In Still Not Dead Shocker

By Alec Meer on March 28th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

One week's worth of PCGA membership fee, yesterday

I’ll start this by saying that, to date, I’ve not been at all impressed by the PC Gaming Alliance, an organisation which seems to have been charging its members large sums to do God only knows what in near-silence, while PC gaming has busily got on with resurging dramatically all by itself. So I’m not entirely inclined to take their report on the current state of PC gamingland at face value, especially given that Steam famously doesn’t share sales figures, but at the same time it’s always nice to hear a big, positive number. By their and their analysts’ reckoning, PC gaming is now a “$20 billion global market with record revenues of $6.8 billion,” up 8% from last year.

At a complete guesstimation, I’d actually be surprised if the growth wasn’t higher. But I’m no analyst, I have no sales figures and I’m terrible at keeping tabs on my own money, let alone someone else’s.

Another claim is that there are over 1 billion PC gamers planet-wide, some 250 million of which are core gamers – i.e. the sort that would buy a BioShock, rather than the sort that would play FarmVille or perhaps even Minecraft (which is very much its own grey area these days).

The largest market is claimed to be China, but then again China’s the largest market for pretty much everything these days. PC gaming audiences in Korea, Japan, the US, Britain and Germany all grew last year too. all showed growth in 2012. Together these markets also increased revenue by percent in 2012, to $8.4 billion. Take all those numbers with a pinch of salt, but right now we don’t have a lot else to go on.

The PCGA are still on about trying to improve their PC Gaming Certification and Logo Program, and acknowledge “that much work remains to be done.” It’s never going to take off, let’s be honest, but hopefully not too many organisations are paying the PCGA’s eye-watering membership fees in the hope it will.

Meanwhile the console gaming industry is in a right old flap about declining sales. Does that mean we win? Don’t be silly, there was never any war.

Read the whole report here, if you like. There are a few more not entirely substantiated numbers in it.

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80 Comments »

  1. TheApologist says:

    There is only war

    • Shakes999 says:

      War never changes……….except for that time it changed in MGS4.

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      You said war on RPS, I know what’s coming next.

    • waltC says:

      My biggest argument with consoles (“argument” might be mild–but who’s got time to get literal about “beheading game consoles on sight” and so on?) is that they’ve held back the state of graphics in 3d gaming for–well, ever since they were created in Dr. F’s laboratory, sometime before the turn of the century. “Consoles are the enema of 3d gaming,” Feargus CharleyHorse was quoted as saying just before the recent carpal-tunnel surgery performed on his feet. (I will let you know how that panned out.) Ugh. Enemas. Remember when your Mom would take the end of the rubber hose with the spiked plastic grommet and then cram it up your…well, you get the idea. “Ouya, that hurts!”

      I think that things are about to change massively, however, and for the better with the advent of the PS4 and the new xBoxUrinalCake(TM), or whatever it will be called. We know it is true for the pS4 and it’s rumored to be true for the upcoming xBox: AMD x86 APUs with 8 cores and 8 gigs of system ram (shared–but, hey, it is a console.) Theoretically, then, this makes the “PC” a parallel development platform for all upcoming games, and we can likely look forward to much better fare than has been the rule. Develop on the PC, port it to an ps4 or xBoxNG console.

  2. Brun says:

    all showed growth in 2012

    Dat typo?

    Also, yay, growth! Although the declining console sales are probably just the typical end-of-generation slump.

  3. db1331 says:

    But the PS4 will have 8GB of RAM so it will slaughter all PCs. Have fun paying $5000 for a PC that you have to upgrade every month just to play current games.

  4. aeromorte says:

    Yep there was never any war. We all knew that PC gaming is good and steady. As for consoles? Meh they can put thier playstation 5 and xbox 1440 out and ill still be a pc gamer. Closed systems arent for me. I like to play with my software and hardware without people threatening to pull the plug on me. /wave EA

  5. Bostec says:

    There is still a PC gaming Alliance? that shit was embarrassing when it first took off, bury it already. Anyway its going to be interesting near the end of the year and then next year on where the PC is. I like to see how the new consoles will impact, seeing as they are almost sound like PCs themselves. Not that the PC will never die, open platform will always win. LONG LIVE WINDOW 7, remember lads, NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET

  6. Delixe says:

    PC Gaming: Dying since 1986.

    • Rian Snuff says:

      WAIT, why since 1986? That’s when I was born.
      And I’ve actually been using computers to game since then, lol.
      I’d sit on my grandfathers lap as he played frogger till’ my stubby little fingers were able enough to push a button.

      • Stochastic says:

        I take it you’re new here?

        • Rian Snuff says:

          If you don’t recognize my nick, I’d have to claim you may be the noob here. : P
          Not that.. I’m overly noticeable but I’m sure I’ve made a good. thousand plus posts over the past 4 years. Ha, I really don’t recall what the connection to 1986 is.. Clue me in pl0x¿

          • Phendron says:

            It’s arbitrary, brah.

            1986 might as well be named ‘time immemorial’ in the tech world.

          • Beelzebud says:

            You’re putting way too much thought in to a throwaway joke.

          • zenjestre says:

            sir, the joke is that 1986 was the first time the phrase ‘pc gaming is dying’ was heard. it being now 2013, it has been ‘dying’ for a hilariously long time.

            the actual date doesn’t matter. 1986 was probably chosen at random.

            interesting note: i am a reconvert. after a good, holy shit has it really been, twenty years of loyal console gaming, it was only last year, around this time, that i returned to the pc fold, and i can honestly say i am a full bore reconvert. i doubt i’ll ever go back.

            so yea, pc gaming is dying, according to nobody you actually know.

      • Delixe says:

        I picked 1986 as the Atari ST was becoming popular and the Commodore Amiga was on the horizon. With the NES totally dominant in the US there was a lot of talk that these computer thingys were on their way out and consoles were the future. Fast forward to 2013 and there is still talk that these computer thingys are on their way out and consoles/clouds/streaming are the future. In 2026 we will still have computer thingys and there will be some console/streaming/cloud nonsense that will be the future.

    • cjlr says:

      1873, surely.

  7. Njordsk says:

    Just because we have more graphics indeed.

  8. Megazell says:

    So long as their is a digital pulse – there will be PC gaming. I remember when Computer Chronicles did a story on how PC gaming was dying back in 1984…Stay stuck ppl, I’ll be gaming on the cheap and for free on the PC always and forever!

  9. Alexander says:

    We should probably brace ourselves for the “PC gaming is dying” choir once the new consoles are out. After which it will be… undead once again. But by then I guess we’ll be in a whole new territory with the kind of processing power that should be available around 2020.
    Also, what exactly is the PCGA doing for PC gaming? Are they attending enough business meetings in fine restaurants a day?

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    The PC is the trusty tortoise, slowly but surely plodding along at a steady pace while the console hare runs backwards and performs unnecessary summersaults, only to die of a heart attack and get their feet chopped off for keychains, which are then thrust into some fat sweaty guy’s pocket.

    A grisly fate indeed.

  11. Rao Dao Zao says:

    No, there was never any war… only FACE.

  12. pupsikaso says:

    I don’t play neither FarmVille nor Bioshock. What the heck kind of gamer does that make me, then??

    • Grey Ganado says:

      You’re not a gamer at all!

    • Meusli says:

      What do you play, Moshi Monsters?

    • Dowson says:

      Can we really consider stuff like Bioshock Infinite core games any more? Its going to sell millions and its advertised everywhere, that’s not core that’s mainstream.

      Core I always thought was stuff that only the ‘core’ would buy, things like, to look at my PS3 games, Vanquish, Enslaved and Nier. The stuff that usually breaks around the million range. Maybe I just have a different definition.

      • Brun says:

        The industry term “core” typically refers to the mainstream. You’re thinking of “hardcore.”

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          I think you’ll find that hardcore is pretty popular these days as well. ;)

        • RandomEsa says:

          Industry term for hardcore is exactly the person who buys the call of duty or any other hugely marketed blockbuster. Hardcore only really defines a… well hardcore fan of a company or series x.

  13. ZIGS says:

    Is their “Our mission” statement, it says they’re a non-profit organization, yet they charge huge fees if you want to be a member?

    • Corb says:

      cause non-profit org is still a business and they probably have an unnecessary number of employees who need paychecks/budgets for projects/research….and capital to continue staying in business (aka profit). They just want us to know that their earnings are not taxable XD

    • JabbleWok says:

      It’s all for legitimate expenses like Faberge eggcups and automatic moat-cleaning equipment.

  14. stoner says:

    I contacted the PCGA about membership. I was informed of a $50,000 level, The Illuminati. Due to the NDA I signed (with my blood…real blood), I cannot give you details. However, I will say that I can consult The Oracle who will divulge The Next Big Thing…which is…

  15. TechnicalBen says:

    If you pay, you get to pay into the group who decides what to do with the pay. The early adopters naturally paid the most and have the most say in what to do with the pay. The pay is in no way tied to a pyramid scheme. PS, those who promote said paying into such payment scheme get more say in what to do with the pay. This is absolutely not an incentive to sustain the first payers payments.

  16. ZIGS says:

    Ok what about this one: what exactly does the PCGA do?

  17. MeestaNob says:

    The impression I’ve had of the PCGA is that they do/achieve absolutely nothing, however I clicked the link just to see how much they were charging for this service. The fee of $5K and $30K is astonishing, but as I was still confused as to what I would get if I were a company joining (aside from an annual dinner and access to a wiki no one knew was there, I clicked the About page to see what they thought they did:

    The PC Gaming Alliance is a non-profit organization…

    $5K-$30K is is ton of money to give an entity that isn’t trying to turn a profit!

    Just what do these crooks do again, other than have dinners and invent logos no one has ever seen?

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The PCGA is a rather huge joke. Always keep in mind that their members include such corps as Digital River (ecommerce outsourcing, DRM’ed), GameStop, Arxan (DRM developer) or Epic (PC is dead! No wait it’s not! No wait IT IS!) and previously included such stellar members of the PC community as Sony DADC, WildTangent and GameTap.

      A significant proportion of the the group is more about profiting from the games industry like parasites than anything else.

  18. popedoo says:

    If I am alive, then PC gaming is also alive.

    I am sure this applies to everyone else here too. :)

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