The PC Gaming Market Is Flipping Enormous

By John Walker on February 4th, 2014 at 8:11 am.

So very often people will ask me, “But what will RPS do as PC game sales decline?” And I tend to look confused at them, and shrug. Um, what will you do when your feet explode, I want to ask, feeling that might be as realistic a worry just now. According to DFC Intelligence whispering their secrets to Games Industry, the PC gaming market should exceed $25 billion this year. That’s a raised forecast from $22bn, and an improvement over 2013, which was an improvement over 2012.

It’s important to take such soothsaying with a pinch of salt. DFC are analysts, not psychics. However, their following of the markets showed that the PC performed extremely well in 2013, despite its being a year without a massive PC title. With most major developers worrying about their XBONE and PS4 titles, and 2012′s big names still selling well, it could have been a tough year for the wheezy boxes, they thought. But games like Dota 2 and LOL dominated, and they say Battlefield 4, Rome II and Fifa 2014 all put in impressive sales. Of course, the other side of this is what we’ve been saying all along – that in the final year of a console generation, people turn to the PC to provide the top-end entertainment.

Being trendy market observers, they get to be surprised when the obvious is still obvious. Despite people’s mad-faced expectations that it would all be about F2P, they tell GI.biz, “The big surprise is that an upfront payment business model still seems to do very well.” In other words, charging money for a game still works. They then go on to use the word “synergy”, so I really have to stop.

But yes, PC gaming is still growing, and growing in big figures, despite the doom and gloom predicted by so many. With the new gen consoles being basically PCs in sleeker boxes, cross-platform developing will be easier than ever, and tweaking the PC version to be the superior version easier still. Apparently the rest of the information will be out on the 11th February.

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119 Comments »

  1. Guvornator says:

    (In Mr Burn’s Lawyer’s Voice) But John, I’m confused – isn’t the PC dying?

  2. fooga44 says:

    The reason people keep saying this is because the PC until just recently was the home of sloppy ports and very few titles outside of MMO’s were the leading platform of games. In the 1990′s the PC had games in which the PC was the lead platform.

    That’s where the ‘pc is on the decline’ is all about.. If PC games are so big, why are there not a lot of AAA games that lead on PC?

    • Saul says:

      If your head’s so big, why doesn’t it have any brains in it? Having AAA games ‘leading’ on PC is only tangentially related to the success or otherwise of the platform.

      • HadToLogin says:

        And then you* go and cry why there’s no GTA 5 on PC and jerk off anytime someone mentions another release date.

        *Ok, maybe not you. And not you. And not you too. But lots-of-PC-only-internet is waiting for it like another Christ…

        • ChromeBallz says:

          The only really good GTA game on PC was the very first…

          GTA and Rockstar are worshipped on consoles, but the game is a far smaller ‘event’ on PC’s. It’s a modder’s target but not much else. Obviously it sells well though, but nowhere near console figures.

        • Damien Stark says:

          “lots-of-PC-only-internet is waiting for it”

          Somehow I missed that corner of the PC-only-internet. Over in my corner there’s two sets of folks:
          1. So busy playing their backlog of Steam-sale games they don’t really need a new release for another year or two.
          2. Complaining about how Steam is DRM and they won’t play anything with DRM, so not interested in GTA which will likely have multiple layers of DRM.

          You should come over to this corner, it’s more fun here.

    • Pich says:

      Why the hell do you want AAA games ? The consoles can keep them in my opinion.

      • Gibly says:

        Indeed. The quality of AAA games isn’t that great. So what if the majority of people buy it…it just shows the majority of people prefer poor shallow entertainment instead of quality products. Most of the fun I have comes from smaller studio’s that actually provide gameplay. Instead of a ton of cut scenes with 4-5 hours of boring Quick Time Events or other gimmicky crap thrown in the mix.

        • Volcanu says:

          That’s a gross over simplification in my view. Not all AAA games are on rails, QTE fests. Perhaps it comes down to what you define as a ‘AAA’ game. If we take it to mean publisher backed games produced by a mid/ large development team on a mid/large budget with a certain level of production values then I would take issue.

          The Half Life games, The Elder Scrolls series, Dark Souls, the Total War games, Civilisation, Dragon Age, – none of these are shallow experiences. And all are of a high quality.

          There are some great, innovative indy titles out there for sure. But they are little islands in a sea of mediocrity. There will always be a kind of gaming experience that only a team of a certain size, with a certain level of resources can deliver. Maybe none of the above titles appeal to you- thats fair enough. But I really dont see the need to choose between AAA or indy titles – I’ll take the good games from either category thanks very much.

          I do find a certain sanctimonious undertone to some of the comments denigrating all AAA games- inferring that anyone who likes a game not produced by a 4 man team on a £2,000 budget is somehow a boorish idiot.

          • Guvornator says:

            I concur. Especially when said indie games often trade on nostalgic memories of AAA games from the past. I don’t think that, in terms of quality, you can choose one over the other. It’s just an illusion brought on by the fact that a successful indie game is a genuinely impressive achievement, where as it’s hard to feel good for EA, even though I’m currently enjoying FIFA.

      • frightlever says:

        Yeah, pretty much agree, with the exception of the next single player Elder Scrolls or fallout game from Bethesda. So, in summary, I don’t care about any AAA games, except the ones I care about.

      • Distec says:

        Because my gaming habits aren’t solely nourished by 8-bit graphics and nostalgia trips.

        Yes, that was a dumb, blanket generalization of indie titles meant mostly in jest. But there are some hard limits on what smaller developers can do, and it’s a bit tiring to see the “AAA” titles being constantly shit on. I think we can criticize the unhealthy tendencies of the AAA industry while still admitting that it can push out fun titles. I had a lot of fun with Skyrim, Far Cry 3, and Dishonored over the last year or so. I’m sure I would enjoy Battlefield 4 if I wasn’t resolutely against installing Origin on my system. Does this mean I forfeit my Real Gamer card?

        Yes, I want AAA games on the PC. I’d like them without all the bullshit that they usually come attached with, but I don’t understand why you’d like them off the platform entirely.

    • Muzman says:

      Never heard of an exclusivity deal I take it?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      > If PC games are so big, why are there not a lot of AAA games that lead on PC?

      Lead or exclusivity for a platform generally requires a company paying for the privilege. Sony and Microsoft are willing to do it for their platforms, as they will recoup the cost in the long run. On the PC we don’t have a single parent company (this is a good thing). Microsoft won’t do it, they are busy promoting the XBox. Valve are rich enough and might see some benefit, but I suspect don’t see the need to take the risk, they are profitable enough without it.

    • UncleLou says:

      What does “lead platform” mean these days? Nearly all “AAA” games are simply multiplatform, including the PC.

      Those that aren’t are mostly platform-exclusives, funded by the platform holder to sell the system to you. The only exception of note I can think of lately is GTAV, and we all know a PC version is extremely likely.

    • LunyAlex says:

      The only reason PC ever failed to capture the attention of a publisher is because of a natural type of market segmentation.
      A market segmentation cause by the fact that there’s a lot of types of games and a lot of games with endless replay value.

      Some PC gamers play Free 2 Play, some play MMOs, some play AAAs, some play all of them.
      Some spend most of their time playing MOBAs, or one particular MMO, or Garry’s Mod, or Counter Strike, or Minecraft.

      Thus, it’s slightly harder to capture the attention of millions of PC gamers compared to that of millions of Console gamers.

      The reason we’ve been seeing an improvement over the last few years is because publishers are finally starting to realize that Steam counters that issue, and centralizes the attention of a big segment of PC gamers in the same place.

      The ludicrous number of PC gamers out there takes care of the rest, enabling publishers that release a quality product to sell well even when there’s a lot of other people busy playing something else.

    • Stardog says:

      Exactly. If the marketplace was so strong, you’d be able to get serious investment in a PC-exclusive title, but you can’t. PC games just don’t sell much compared to console.

      I blame Microsoft for not implementing an app store when XP was still around. And nobody is about to bet £1m+ on the chance they might get through Steam Greenlight. If there was a decent open marketplace that $25bn would be nearer $100bn.

      • Gibly says:

        Guess you didn’t see the numbers where Steam out performs Xbox easily? And is over half of what sony has and closing in fairly fast.

      • iainl says:

        People who aren’t Indies count as a publisher that goes straight on the main store.

        Anyway: There’s no console version of the current Sim City. There’s no console version of the Proper Total War games. Civilization Revolution wasn’t the kind of massive hit that meant they squished Civ V into an Xbox 360. Most MMOs are PC exclusive.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        > If the marketplace was so strong, you’d be able to get serious investment in a PC-exclusive title

        Me and others explained above why there are no AAA exclusives for PC (but a huge amount of indie and Kickstarter exclusives).

        > PC games just don’t sell much compared to console.

        Did you read the article above?

        > I blame Microsoft for not implementing an app store when XP was still around.

        A Microsoft run app store would “save” PC gaming? Color me doubtful. They fumbled the ball completely with regards to everything PC gaming related. Valve+Steam and others were there to pick it up.

        • Stardog says:

          > Me and others explained above why there are no AAA exclusives for PC (but a huge amount of indie and Kickstarter exclusives).

          I meant to say lead platform, not exclusivity. It’s more about nobody investing in a large-scale PC game. MMO/MOBA’s are a whole seperate area. The Witcher series is one of the few, and even that went multi-platform.

          > Did you read the article above?

          There aren’t any detailed numbers. Almost any game released for PC/Xbox/PS will sell far more on consoles.

          • Bury The Hammer says:

            Not entirely sure why you’re discounting MMOs and MOBAs, the point is investment and seeking to capture a market.

            I think partly the explanation is that consoles are just more concentrated around a few big titles, whereas PC gaming is more spread (and competitive). There are just simply more good quality games. Plus, many who own a console also own a PC – it might not be a gaming PC, but it’ll definitely run Minecraft or any other low spec indie title.

            Now that I mention it, I’d be interested to know whether the quality of a gaming rig affects the sales. Did people buy Skyrim on console instead of PC because they didn’t have a good enough PC to play it?

          • Muzman says:

            So what you’re saying is; if you define away all the large investments on PC titles then there aren’t any large investments on PC titles.
            Hm, seems legit.

            There is a certain oblique truth to this. But it’s that the prejudice of what constitutes a “serious game investment” only takes a few forms; namely competing head to head in the CoD clone or third person fighter space as they are the most famous individual titles in gaming (I guess).
            It’s a similar false prestige economy to Hollywood, where a film can make a fortune globally but if it’s below a certain box office or number of screens in the US then it’s not a “real” hit. Likewise, the PC can be far and away the largest and most profitable gaming platform on earth, but if people aren’t betting big on that Man Shooter/Spectacle fighter space then there’s no “serious” investment going on.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        At first stance I thought this was a sarcastic post until I read your reply. Oh dear.

        I’ll just say that WoW would like a word with you. And LoL. And Dota 2. And a shedload of other games that only exist on PC, sell very well, and are really quite excellent.

    • Lemming says:

      AAA games are the raison d’etre of a console. A PC exists regardless. AAA means fuck-all on a platform where a game like Dota2 or Minecraft can utterly destroy those AAA expectations with sales. The last AAA game of any significance on PC was probably Skyrim. Bethesda aren’t stupid when it comes to PC releases, though.

    • bills6693 says:

      There are lots of things that lead on PC. The standouts are in the genre of strategy I think. Grand strategy, real time strategy of all kinds, DOTA/LOL/MOBAs in general, turn based strategy, 4X strategy games, etc.

      Also simulation games, and the future looks bright with space games. Combined with the vast array of kickstarted projects that themselves are spawning more games for PC, I think that for several years the PC hasn’t just been not dying, but showing signs of soon growth.

      If you look at shooters, racing games, and sports games, then yes the console is king and PC plays second fiddle (at least in popularity/sales). But these are by no means the only genres and there are so many ‘PC exclusives’, far far more than console exclusives or even far more than console exclusives AND crappy ports.

    • phuzz says:

      I’d say the PC is the leading platform for:
      Simulations (including flightsims, tank sims, and East German Bus sims).
      Strategy games, both realtime and, erm, pausetime ones, and I’m including things like DotA, along with Civ, C&C, XCOM etc.
      Management games, (eg Football Manager, Rollercoaster Tycoon)
      Multiplayer Shooters (eg Counterstrike, TF2) [NB, more people playing either of those two than any one console shooter]
      RPGs, (Skyrim, Witcher, Fallout)

      And finally, the PC is definitely the platform of choice for weird indie games that don’t really fit anywhere else, eg Kerbal Space Program, Octodad, Proteus, Dear Esther, Thirty Flights of Loving, Moonbase Alpha, GunPoint, Papers, Please, Zeno Clash.

      So what are consoles the platform of choice for?

      • Cinek says:

        EA,
        Capcom,

      • Bury The Hammer says:

        They seem to be where the blockbusters gather – your AssCreeds, your CoDs, your GTAs. They don’t seem to share as much in common in terms of genre, but in terms of spectacle and hype, they excel. Why? I dunno. Marketing departments seem to find it easier to appeal to console owners on brand alone.

        I’d say stuff like platformers and action RPGs lend themselves more to consoles, but with a 360 controller, they play just fine on PC..

    • Turkey says:

      Well, most AAA games probably get a truckload of extra development money from the platform holders to make sure it comes to their console. The closest thing we’ve had to that was GFWL, and that was a complete disaster.

      • Shuck says:

        “Well, most AAA games probably get a truckload of extra development money from the platform holders to make sure it comes to their console.”
        Only if it’s an exclusive, and even then it’s not usually a truckload of money. Otherwise the money is flowing in entirely the other direction, via platform license fees.
        I don’t know why everyone is getting so defensive about this – the reality is that if you’re making a big-budget game, you’re likely going to target consoles as your primary platforms, as that’s where the majority of the market is (it’s still more than twice the size of the PC market, even with the recent console end-of-generation decline). (Especially now that the MMO segment of the market has been cooled down by more than a decade of failures.) Games that, in the ’90s, would have been designed for the PC and perhaps sloppily ported to consoles are now being designed for consoles and sloppily ported to PC. And that’s what the phrase “the death of the PC” has been about – and just that. Obviously the platform is extremely healthy, even with the decline in sales, and has the wider variety of games and game types and many more (albeit lower budget) exclusives.

    • secuda says:

      What is this? early 2007?

  3. Saul says:

    No-one’s ever made those kind of comments to me, but if they did I think I’d have a spasm.

  4. humbye says:

    I’m glad to see that someone else dislikes the word “synergy”. It is so overused in my line of work that it has become synonymous with “panacea”. Pfffft. I too switch off when I read that word.

    • Biscuitry says:

      It’s a shame about that word. It used to be a nice little word meaning the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, but then it got shanghaied by overenthusiastic marketing types and was ruined forever.

      • Rizlar says:

        Indeed, I’m always a little bit surprised when someone gets pissed off about the word. Then I read a comment like the one above and thank Horace that I’ve never had to work in an office.

      • Bury The Hammer says:

        I wonder whether the same thing is happening to cloud computing. It used to be a nice phrase to describe decentralised storage/processing, now it’s a MAGIC word that any computing company can throw around devoid of actual meaning.

        Actually, now I’m reminded of this.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ntPxdWAWq8

        • Damien Stark says:

          It’s funny because in network diagrams, the cloud was always used to abstract out the section where “we don’t really know what happens in here, the details are not important” Like you’d show your central site with all its networking details, and your remote site with all its details, and in between would be a provider cloud, where you don’t actually know the details of their topology but it doesn’t matter, they just provide you a connection between sites.

          Now, that’s essentially what many buzzword aficionados are using Cloud computing to refer to – “I don’t actually know the details or what I’m talking about, but there’s this place out there where computer happens and its good.”

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I think it works pretty well in trading card games ;P

    • Natdaprat says:

      Word hipsters.

    • Damien Stark says:

      It’s such a useful word though, and especially has applications in video games. I’d be happy to let go of it, if there was a better replacement available.

      No question it’s been abused relentlessly by the corporate buzzword brigade, but that’s no reason to let them take away an English word. It’d be like insisting Sid Meyer and Assassin’s Creed 4 should no longer refer to pirates and piracy. MPAA, RIAA, and game publishers have said so many stupid things about piracy, now we have to call them buccaneers or unlicensed-privateers or something…

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    Maybe I’m suffering from confirmation bias, but when the previous console generation was released, I thought there was a lot more excitement and hype. There were Xbox specific magazines in the supermarkets, and console exclusive games were common. When looking at “coming the next 12 month” lists, I really felt like PC titles were starting to dry up.

    This generation, most people seem pleased and the new devices are selling at a brisk pace, but at the same time I think there is this feeling of them just about catching up to the normal PC (at least graphically) rather than surpassing it by a wide margin and blowing peoples’ minds. Most big releases are PC/Xbox/PS by default. Sony still sponsor a few great exclusives like Uncharted, but on the PC side we have lots of surprise indie hits, and a flood of promising Kickstarter titles. No Playstation or XBox exclusive magazines in stores anymore, but PC Gamer is there.

    • RPSRSVP says:

      Agreed. When 360 launched, it was the equivalent of a 7800 GTX, which was a high end GPU at the time. In comparison, the latest consoles are on par with cheaper mid range GPU’s.

      Over the past few years, the gaming ecosystem has changed and made it easier for indies to reach gamers. Fed up with cod and it’s clones, journalists and gamers with audiences watching them have shifted their focus away from yearly AAA sequels to games over to games made with passion rather than games that are directed by people driven by COD’s sale charts.

      Another factor is that PC components became cheaper overall, a gaming PC that once meant at least a $1500 affair has since changed, nowadays you can build a gaming PC for a lot less.

      • Zekiel says:

        Sniff… I thought my PC was a decent mid-range machine, but its not as good as the new consoles.

        I’ll just be over here weeping into my beer….

        • RPSRSVP says:

          Details? I built the following rig over a year ago: I5-2400-INTEL H67-2x4GB 1333MHz RIPJAWS-128GB Crucial M4
          Antec520W HCG-MSI 7950 TWIN FROZR III-Q270 Catleap-MX Revo-WIN8 64 in a cheap mid tower case for less than a $1000. Keep in mind that the monitor was ~$300 so the rig cost me ~$700. Granted, this was before the bitcoin mining craze pushed the GPU prices and I did snag a win8 upgrade super cheap, it cost me like $14 when Microsoft had a deal on it.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      Yeah if anything I’d be way more worried about consoles than PC lol.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Ironically, Sony’s presence currently feels stronger on PC than on the PS4. Planetside 2 is going great, then there’s EverQuest Next which is both ambitious and very intriguing, and then there’s this new MMO that’s supposed to fill the shoes of Star Wars: Galaxies…

  6. Bull0 says:

    More-or-less with you except for your line about 2013 being a year “without a massive PC title”. They may not all be to your taste but 2013 saw some huge releases.

    • John Walker says:

      There were very many games to my tastes in 2013, but it was lacking a Skyrim or similar. In fact, Skyrim sold better in 2013 than any year before.

      • Bull0 says:

        Didn’t Bioshock Infinite do pretty well? Strikes me as comparable. And although it was the end of a long beta, technically Dota 2 was released in 2013.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          Bioshock was not comparable to Skyrim in sales or excitement. Skyrim picked up momentum after it was released. Bioshock Infinite saw a lot of people say, “This is it? I waited for this?”

          And people are STILL playing Skyrim. Most of us have deleted Bioshock Infinite.

          • Bull0 says:

            Your points, while correct, don’t have anything to do with what I’m saying, which is that there were a lot of huge, well-marketed releases last year, Bioshock being one example. Yeah, it’s not as good as Skyrim. That doesn’t make any difference.

          • P.Funk says:

            So what you’re saying is that a box office flop most people will forget about in a few years is the same as a Star Wars?

      • phuzz says:

        Skyrim is the 7th most played game on Steam today. I wasn’t expecting that.

  7. SillyWizard says:

    What I want to know is when will people stop wasting their time making console-boxes and just put everything on the PC where it belongs?

    • Sandepande says:

      Because for gaming a PC is still needlessly complicated, even though things are far better now than a decade ago. Hardware is good, it’s the OS side that is a bit too technical at times. Even with OSX.

      • witzkawumme (wkw) says:

        exactly or like George Carlin said:
        “Think about how stupid the average person is. Now, realize that half of them are dumber than that.” – George Carlin

      • aldo_14 says:

        Fortunately, if PCs can’t match the ease-of-use of consoles, consoles are trying damn hard to match the ease-of-use of PCs.

      • melnificent says:

        I’d say the OS side is getting closer than ever between PC and console. I’ve seen a few PS4s now and they all crash to desktop, sorry main OS screen, every hour or so. They even ask you to file a report and give it a cryptic error code.

        • LawL4Ever says:

          Wow. Way to alienate your customers, Sony.

          Consoles used to be (in comparision) cheap dedicated gaming machines. They have become multimedia platforms just like a regular PC, for a very similar price. But without the ability to do office work on them, or search the internet efficiently, due to the lack of a keyboard.

    • Hman says:

      [quote] What I want to know is when will people stop wasting their time making console-boxes and just put everything on the PC where it belongs?[/quote]

      Dude wtf? Why do games only belong on a PC?? What kind of insane thought is that? You hit your head or something? Console existed way before x86 IBM PC’s. So now all game should belong on a system that was never intended for games???? Crazy logic you have…as far as i know consoles are dedicated game machines…pc’s are not. Please confirm my worst fear by telling me you also hate Apple and love Android? That would definitely confirm that you are the worst of fanboys…

      • Gibly says:

        Consoles used to be dedicated game machines. They aren’t any more for the past 2 generations. Consoles these days are weak pc’s trying to be multimedia machines that just happen to play games as well. Only Nintendo is still a pure gaming console meant for games and nothing more. So in that light Sony and MS need to cut that crap about turning their console into some weak hybrid, stay true to being a game console and nothing more or stop being a hypocrite and accept that they’re nothing more then PC’s already.

        • iainl says:

          It’s perfectly sensible of Sony and Microsoft to go to at least last-gen lengths to be multimedia devices. Nintendo’s decision that their hardware won’t ship with film or music playing software is not a technical consideration, it’s a financial one.

          • Hman says:

            exactly, Nintendo doesnt want to pay money to the DVD or Blu-Ray Association.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          I wouldn’t call the WiiU a pure game console. It’s also got some of the elements the other consoles throw in, but they’re so amazingly bad at it that most people just mentally block their very existence from registering.

          I’ve bought a WiiU so that I could play stuff that never makes it to PC (unlike 99% of the Xbone/PS4 stuff) and the most atrocious thing with it is actually getting through the menus which often have longer loading times than the games themselves.

      • Cinek says:

        “as far as i know consoles are dedicated game machines” – no, they are not. PS4 at least is mostly oriented at gaming – Xbone though doesn’t even do that and it’s mostly aimed to be a home multimedia box.

        Sorry to inform you, but future of gaming is in PCs and Tablets. Consoles are fading away.

    • Philotic Symmetrist says:

      What I want to know is when PC gaming will realise the value of local and split screen multiplayer and generally accept that controllers actually are a superior input device for many (not all, obviously) types of games.

      • bstard says:

        Hey a konsole guy! Fetch the tar&feathers!

      • Gibly says:

        Controllers are supported for many games on PC. And for many games I prefer the controller. Such as Mortal Kombat, Sports games etc. But for shooters and RTS games…get lost with those slow controllers. They have no place for it. Last year I’ve also played many multiplayer games locally with friends on my PC and you don’t need splitscreen if the game is well designed.

        • iainl says:

          I’d imagine (and hope) that “splitscreen” is more shorthand for multiple players on a single machine. I enjoy playing the likes of Sonic Transformed with my son on the PC I’ve hooked up to the TV in the living room, and so when titles insist that I (a) go sit in the other room and (b) buy two copies if we want to play together it’s a bit annoying. 1920×1080 pixels over a 40″ screen is plenty of room to devote to splitscreen if necessary.

        • Slazer says:

          Yes, splitscreen, couch coop, local multiplayer etc. have essentially the same meaning, and way too many publishers haven’t realized that there actually guys doing that on PC (I am looking at you Gearbox, with your crappy Borderlands games).

          Got my PC running with 4 360 gamepads on a 47” TV and the number of available games is so low we just deleted the Sonic saves for the 3rd time to play through World Tour again.

          The number of splitscreen games on consoles, especially for more than 2 players, is also much smaller than you would expect

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Buy three screens, run three EVE clients for three accounts and use three mice and keyboard. I’m sure there’s a guide for making all of that work somewhere, it’s EVE.

        Problem solved?

  8. Philopoemen says:

    The kickstarter campaign by the Kingdom Come: Deliverance summed it up for me – they had an idea for PC/others and they got the distinct impression that publishers were only after iphone/ipad games based on their market research and predictive modelling. And the success of that campaign shows what the market actaully thinks.

    PC will stay strong due to the console-generational adaptation which will see the console-only big ticket items take another year to filter through development.

  9. bigjig says:

    I wonder how much of that is from free to play games though.

    • ChromeBallz says:

      Less than you might suspect :)

      Of course it’s going to have a big share, but it won’t be a 90% figure as some people think. Closer to 40-50, if that much.

  10. Arithon says:

    I read industry data in December that stated while the XBOX had four platform exclusive titles, the PS3 had six and the PC had forty three.
    That’s not mini-games or F2P, but full-blown gaming titles. The consoles are too closed (currently) to indie titles to compete.
    People cite “AAA” titles, but personally I would rate Kerbal Space Program or Godus far higher than “Batman:Scenery Change Edition”.
    Each successive multiplatform release of a franchise gets worse. Call of Duty started as an excellent PC game. Now it’s a byword for all that is wrong with gaming generally. Look at the dismal efforts of DICE to make BF4 even work!
    Developers need to start writing for each platform separately, as they used to. Otherwise the results will continue to be high-budget flops.

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    What’s more the PC’s growth is stable. The console market got so big so fast that it’s threatening to collapse in on itself.

    • Cinek says:

      Not really “on itself” – more like under a weight of competition. Tablets offer far superior ease of use and gaming comfort (no need to sit in front of TV) while getting better and better titles each year (X-Com was a huge bombshell last year) while PC with Steam & win 7 is only slightly more difficult to use then consoles while at the same time offers by far superior quality, better pricing, and support for tons of 3rd party accessories.

      Give it 3-4 years and people won’t be talking about death of PCs but rather a death of Consoles. Handhelds are already falling.

      • Hman says:

        Which superiour quality are you talking about? Superiour DRM? Superiour games?Hell you can’t turn on a pc with a controller (a basic feature on a consoles0, the UI (even windows 8) is not suitable for a living room, Better pricing?? Hell you can’t even buy used games on the PC!!! It’s great to see that some SNES, NES and N64 classics in my collection are worth more then 200 euro now. What is your Steam collection worth in 20 years? ZERO! PS4 sold already 4 million units..yeah console gamimg is dying. The only thing really dying is desktop PC gaming. All these great indy games you brag about require nothing more then 4-5 year old laptop. AAA Exclusive PC titles hardly exist these days.

        • Slazer says:

          You realize that there is something called Steam big Picture with Autostart, allowing you even to browse the internet with the controller?

          I was also looking for some used 360 games recently, mainly Borderlands 2, and even used it was more expensive than buying it new from steam.

          Nobody is talking about SNES here, you can get a PS2 or old XBox with 50 games for the price of a pizza these games, and I can just emulate your bloody collection on my PC anyway. A 5 year old laptop actually matches most of the stuff you have in a nw console.

          New to this page, right? Maybe you should go back to IGN or play some Call of Duty

        • PopeRatzo says:

          Hell you can’t turn on a pc with a controller (a basic feature on a consoles)

          Why would anyone want to?

          When I’m not playing games on my PC, I’m doing any one of dozens of different things with it (including typing this comment).

          Hell, on a console, you can’t even ALT-TAB to a spreadsheet when your boss (or wife) walks in the room.

          • Cinek says:

            Actually he is wrong – you can run PC with a controller alone. Even a windows one, but Steam Machines will make it far more comfortable.
            Besides – one huge advantage of PCs over consoles is that you are not stuck with controller – you can have many different outstanding input devices.

          • Hman says:

            Have fun with yoyr Steam MAchine. tell me how can i play BF4 (for example) controller only on a Steam Machine. tell me how?

          • Hman says:

            Beause consoles can..and its convenient! Why do you think remote controls were invented..

          • tormos says:

            why on earth would anyone play an FPS with a controller?

        • Drake Sigar says:

          Maybe if your beloved AAA studios took a page from the Indi devs, Deep Silver wouldn’t say “I actually think we’re much better than the Activisions, EAs, and Ubisofts of the world. People say, ‘What do you mean? They are valued at three billion dollars.’ I say the difference is that we make money. [Laughs]”

          And I’m not sure why you’re making digital media synonymous with Steam. In case you haven’t noticed it already has a strong foothold in books, music, movies, and games. That’s just the way the world is heading – digital is often cheaper, faster, and more convenient.

          • Hman says:

            Digital isn’t cheaper. Even on your beloved Steam games are almost never cheaper then retail.

            And please..since when is Deep Silver an indy developer??? They may be small compared to giants like Bioware but they are no way indy!

          • Bury The Hammer says:

            The cost of delivery is a lot cheaper, which makes margins larger, which is good for developers, and frankly just wastes less money printing physical things, shipping them around the country, having them sit in a shop, being carried back to my house and then.. installed just like I could have online in a fraction of the time or effort.

            I have also never, ever seen games anywhere near as cheap on consoles as on sales. I picked up Borderlands 2, Dark Souls, and Far Cry 3 for £5 each during the last Steam sales. All AAA games, all relatively new, all available to run on my shiny new hardware when I get it, rather than being made obsolete in a few years.

            Also, I have a crapload of NES and N64 games. I can’t play them because the cables are broken, the controllers are bust, and they don’t make new controllers anymore. So they’re essentially not worth anything to me.

          • Drake Sigar says:

            The top paragraph consisted of two separate comments on the same subject (AAA publishers are churning out games that sell millions and yet are considered failures), I’m not implying Deep Silver is indi.

            Again, you mention Steam as if it’s synonymous with digital media. Music it’s where it really took off, with record labels suddenly finding themselves as dinosaurs and fighting tooth and nail for their stagnant unchanging business model. Apparently we’re doomed to repeat that process.

            As for Steam prices, it’s true the initial price of the most costly made games are unsurprisingly pretty expensive, but the sales come quickly and the free market creates competition on the same platform. Amazon are jumping in, there’s the Bundles, GoG, Greemangaming, etc. Something definitely needs to be sorting out regarding a second hand market though, consumer rights an’ all that jazz.

          • Chuckleluck says:

            “Digital isn’t cheaper”

            You haven’t glanced at the Christmas or Summer Steam Sales, have you? Heck, Gamestop’s still selling L4D2 for $25 on 360, on Christmas day Steam was giving it away for free.

      • Niko says:

        Tablets? Do you mean tablets as the devices to, uhm, play Candy Crush and the likes?

        • Gap Gen says:

          I’ve quite liked some more complex/interesting games on tablets, like Waking Mars, Warzone: Anomaly Earth (or whatever it’s called), Eufloria. The touch interface also works quite well for a lot of things that demand quick actions at arbitrary points on a 2D surface like strategy games rather than games with relative motion like FPSs or whatever (Waking Mars was a little imprecise but this is fine as it’s not a fast-paced shooter). I agree, though, that the phone/tablet marketplaces are rammed with dross, and that it’s hard to pick out good games from the whale farms and gullible child milking machines.

          • Cinek says:

            ^ what he said.
            Plus: Tablets evolve, console stand still.
            Current best tablet games look easily as well as previous generation of consoles (X360/PS3) – just imagine where we will be in next 3-4 years? Graphics on tablets will be good enough for most of the people, while at the same time more and more advanced, interesting games will come out.

            Right now I’m in a middle of Baldur’s Gate playthrough on my iPad 4 – there’s no console RPG that can offer depth and fidelity of that game. And that’s just a beginning of storm to come over the traditional consoles.

          • Niko says:

            Those are rare examples of non-tablet exclusive indies, though. The overwhelming majority of tablet games are more like distractions with microtransactions. Or even abominations like Dungeon Keeper’s remake.

          • Cinek says:

            Yea, sure, if you will dig through PC gaming you will find the same – tons of garbage you’d never play, and many total abominations (Syndicate from EA)

          • FriendlyFire says:

            I can easily list dozens of excellent PC games, but most of the games I have on my Android stuff is toilet distractions.

            I’d really like to see a list of more than a handful of good mobile titles with similar depth to what you get on PC.

  12. mfcrocker says:

    I’m going to get me some of those fancy robot feet.

  13. Viscera says:

    Admittedly, a big reason why I don’t play many modern AAA games on my own PC is that it’s not exactly the newest one, and I therefore buy PS3 versions of these games, if available (even though I probably should rather save up for a new PC). But that’s not so important because, in my opinion, AAA games aren’t the biggest thing anymore. Of course, it looks different in numbers, as they sell and earn much more than smaller games. But still, I think indie games are the PC’s biggest strength. Sure, consoles have them too, but the PC has more of them and it’s there where they sell best (if I’m not mistaken). I’d play more AAA titles on my PC, if it were better, but even then, it would still be the indie games that I play the most.

  14. Scurra says:

    Because, as everyone knows, home taping is killing music.

  15. Seafort says:

    My most anticipated title this year is Banished. It’s been developed by one man over 3 years and kicks the crap out of the new Sim City. EA Maxis should be ashamed of themselves.

    I’m kinda done with these big AAA games with no soul. I buy a select few of them a year but most of my purchases are for indie titles with bags of interesting gameplay and features which AAA games would never risk doing or have the talent to add them.

    I’m glad the PC platform is doing so well maybe we’ll get some better ports this time around.

    Edit: I’ve just thought maybe consoles aren’t dying per se but maybe its the AAA games that are on the way out as they are getting too expensive with little innovation.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Whoop whoop! Thumbs up for the Banished plug.
      I don’t ordinarily feel much compulsion to plod around the ‘net promoting games I’m excited about, but Banished is a rare exception. I often drop in a link to it whenever it seems vaguely related to the discussion at hand.

      The interesting thing is, in almost all cases, I’ve had at least one response to the effect of “Wow, thanks for telling me about this, I hadn’t heard of it before and it looks amazing!”

      I hope that guy makes a boatload of cash. Game development done right.

    • Cinek says:

      “I’m glad the PC platform is doing so well maybe we’ll get some better ports this time around.” – I don’t give shit about ports. How about some more of actual PC-focused games? (don’t mind if they get ported on consoles)
      Yea, I know that PCs get more exclusives then any other consoles, but I wouldn’t mind of games like GTA5 would hit the PC at a same time as they do on consoles and PC wouldn’t be just an afterthought (Mark of Ninja – I’m looking at you)

  16. whoCares says:

    I think that PC gaming is in general better but it is harder to start. The start and general gaming is getting easier and more comfortable so there is always set of people who are getting included. And once you learned how to game on a PC the only reason to go back to consoles are exclusives, which also are often not as good as comparable PC games(Resistance 3 is unplayable for me because it is just different shades of brown) or suffer from small things that can completely destroy the athmosphere and could easily be fixed if it was not a console game( The behaviour of your “companions” in Last of Us)
    That and the fact that the new generation did not include basic things like higher resolutions, Anti-Aliasing and Physx make the consoles basically pointless and weaker than my mid-range PC that is connected to my TV.
    I see a lot of my friends turn after they see how easy and comfortable gaming is on PC while there are constantly getting screwed over on consoles AAAAND can not even play their last-gen games if they do not pay again for selected games. How stupid is that?!

    • whoCares says:

      Seriously how stupid is that? They even left the emulated Memory Cards in the Menu of the PS3 and only took away the emulator?!! You get screwed over and then they mock you for it.

  17. Shooop says:

    PC is just standing still. Like it has ever since the PlayStation 2/XBOX generation. Before that PC was the lead platform for just about everything. Then the game changed and things haven’t been the same since.

    The biggest players in the PC market are MMOs and F2P games. The indie market only makes a splash because they’re spending so much less money than most developers by making Atari 2600 games instead of hiring aspiring 3D artists and feeds entirely on “Oh you kids and your fancy polygons. Now get off my lawn!” nostalgia.

    Consoles haven’t let go of their grip over the AAA game market, and that’s why it’s flooded with QTE-infested FOLLOW the leader crapfests which sometimes spill over to PCs like Battlefiled of Duty to appease the kids with Alienwares. PCs only get any kind of attention once the consoles reach the end of their lifecycle every 4-5 years, and it’s incredibly brief because manufacturers have stepped up their efforts to push out new hardware the moment the kids get bored with their old toys.

    PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just shambling in the alleyways muttering incoherently about Azeroth or something.

  18. petran79 says:

    What you call now console gaming, with the exception of Sony, derives from IBM PCs:
    Microsoft, Nvidia and AMD (former ATI Technologies) made their money and turned into giants out of PC gaming during the 90s.

    during that time good gaming PC owners were relatively sparse. but PCs were also much more expensive and technology leaps were huge. Eg with a 3DFX Voodo card and a wavetable sound card you were light years ahead.

    Now PCs are so cheap that a lot of old vendors and manufacturers stopped caring for the PC market.

    this in turn made PCs more accessible but at the cost of losing interest in technology. This also had to do with the arrival of the Xbox.

    the video card and sound card market that was so abundant with different chipsets in the 90s, pushing innovation and technology, merged today into just Nvidia and AMD and mediocre onboard sound cards.

  19. Frank says:

    Eh, these analysts are paid based on how loud and surprising their claims are. I remember when they said MMOs and F2P were all that the PC could sustain. Next, they’ll probably say (a la Rohrer) that prices need to go up over time or that crowdfunding is the only way.

    These silly extremist statements are almost as bad as the “X is going to die” stuff. Good fodder for defensive internet creatures, I guess, but really: transparent data and serious demand estimation or f*** off.

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