What’s Going On? PC Gaming Trends 2011

You can see my house from here.
Photo by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

There’s change afoot in the games industry, as a recent survey suggests the shift towards digital in full swing right now, with £330m coming in for downloads, compared to £450m at retail. First spotted over at MCV, market research firm Newzoo have revealed some of the results of their extensive survey of over 20,000 people across 12 countries, to find the latest in gaming market trends. And they’ve since sent us some exclusive glimpses of their findings. It turns out, there are gamers everywhere. Own up, are you one of them? Maybe someone you know is? Let’s put on our statisticians helmets, and dive into the data.

Newzoo have sent us some of the full infographics (which my spellchecker says isn’t a real word) showing data for the USA and UK which you can see here and here, and data about “Time & Gamers per Platform” for USA, UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands & Belgium here.

Of the populations aged 10-65, with internet access, Germany has the highest proportion of gamers, where 66% of the population are active players. Next is Mexico with 57%, Russia with 53%, UK with 52%, Brazil with 47% and USA with 42%.

In almost all countries, PC gaming in one of its many guises is the dominant form of gaming. The combined total of PC retail, download, web games, social gaming and MMOs take up more than 50% of the timeshare in all the countries that data is available for.

In the USA, spending on PC games for 2011 is estimated to be split at $2.5 billion for downloads and $1.8 billion for retail. So downloads have comfortably overtaken retail in the USA. Spending on console games is down on the last two years, but PC spending is stable, and growing slightly thanks to downloads being on the up. I’ve heard that retail for PC games in the USA is notoriously uncompetitive with download pricing, so perhaps that explains the greater shift towards download here.

In the UK, the split is £330 million for downloads and £450 million for retail. Considering that developers get a far bigger slice of the pie when games are sold as downloads, it seems pretty likely that we are past the point where as a whole, developers earn more from PC downloads than they do PC retail.

Interestingly, even though more money is spent on PC retail games compared to downloads, they occupy similar amount of gamers time in the UK. Could this be a symptom of those frequent discounts we all know and love from download services resulting in more hours spent gaming for your money? (Of course, it’s worth noting that digital distributors are notoriously obtuse when it comes to releasing sales details, so these numbers probably involve a little bit of guessing.)

How do you think your gaming time and spend would be split up good readers of RPS? Do you fit in the top 18% of gamers that own 7 different platforms? Are you ready to start singing “Retail is dead” from the rooftops?

For more on their 2011 survey, head to Newzoo.com.

Edit: I misread one of the things off the graph, corrected now. Please don’t use the whip.


  1. Srekel says:

    So we spend less now than two years ago? Is that due to the economic collapse thingie that happened?

    • mjig says:

      Hopefully it means the gaming and “geek is chic” fad has worn off and publishers will stop catering to much to the casuals.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Sorry to rain on your elitism parade (and the weather has been utterly lovely in the UK til today), but a broader gaming market is no fad.

      Nor is it bad.

    • Nicholas Totton says:

      @jeremypeel Sorry to rain on your parade, but it is bad. If the casuals become the dominate focus of the games industry, then they are going stop making the kind of games you and I like, and instead focus on making games for the casuals because that’s where the money is at and that’s all these companies care about.When Modern Warfare took off every dam company and it’s mother started making generic modern shooters to copy cat it, and now the market is flooded with copy cat shooters to the point that there are about 1-2 every month being released. The same thing will happen if/when the casuals take over and developers start making games for them. If they can send a group of 5-10 guys to make a flash game to nickle and dime dumb people with micro transactions that only takes 6 months to a year to develop and publish that makes them just as much money as when they needed hundreds of people working for 4-6 years and costing hundreds of millions of dollars to make the kind of games we enjoy today, then why would they ever go back to that?

      I’m not saying games for us will go away completely, but the focus of the industry will shift heavily to the casuals facebook style crap, and there will be a lot less games made for us traditional gamers. As well, game design philosophy will shift to focus on those style games, and there will be a certain level of bleed through onto our games as they try to shoehorn those things into traditional game.

    • ynamite says:

      Orly? Well, I challenge thee then to name at least ten of those one to two FPS’ that come out, as you claimed, every month. And I shall have only one condition: they must be CoD clones. Good luck soldier.

      I agree with your point though, but I still fail to see this army of clones you speak of.

    • DaFishes says:

      Allow me to dial a wahmbulance for the hardcore gamers who are feeling threatened.

    • ffordesoon says:

      @Nicholas Totton:

      Yeah! Imagine if there were different types of movies marketed to different types of people! That would never

      Oh. Wait.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Oh, and it’s worth pointing out that all the dull brown manshoots we decry are the result of catering to the hardcore gamers, not the casuals. Casuals tend to play games with more than one color.

      Give me a great farming game over Call Of Modern Battlefield: War Heroes Of Wartime any day.

    • Tei says:

      The easy read is that the console market has ben deflacting for 2 years. I think maybe consoles sell more games wen a new generation show, and wen that generation gets old, only hardcores buy games.
      Something like that.

    • lurkalisk says:

      ffordesoon, you speak naught but nonsense. Nicholas clearly wasn’t talking about general variety being bad. Oh, and “hardcore” manshoots? Really? Hardcore doesn’t describe games with blood, or that require a modicum of skill. Things like call of duty straddle that line between hardcore and casual, if you bother to think about it. And it’s really quite absurd anyone would prefer a piece of crap farm simulator to a mediocre game because of their respective color schemes. Just absurd.

      Anyway, more on topic, while things like this are never exactly accurate, it’s good to know PC game sales are supposedly climbing (albeit slowly), while console game sales are supposedly shrinking.

    • Catalept says:

      Manshoots aren’t aimed at ‘hardcore gamers’, they’re aimed at ‘hardcore doodz’ who play games… which is exactly why they’re simultaneously dull and popular. EA, damn their diabolical cleverness, has positioned their soggy brown product as a brand first and foremost… not a game.

      Personally, I couldn’t give a damn. The presence of a McDonald’s down the road didn’t kill the local kebab shop, and the ubiquity of assembly-line arse-fluff with 9-figure marketing budgets won’t kill the steady flow of crispy deliciousness from people who actually want to make games for a living. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to pay my game-tithe to the SteamPriests.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Okay, I will admit without hesitation that my second comment was poorly phrased and ill-conceived, and I retract every part of that statement unreservedly, except that I really would love to play a great farming game. For the record, i’ve never played FarmVille in my life, and in fact think it looks incredibly dull. When I mentioned “a great farming game”, I was referring to some ideal farming game that doesn’t exist yet, not FarmVille. I only realized it could be perceived as an endorsement of FarmVille just now.

      That being said, I stand by my first comment. We have summer blockbusters and romantic comedies, because they are targeted at different markets. We have Tom Clancy novels and Umberto Eco novels, because they are targeted at different markets We have Lady Gaga records and Godspeed You Black Emperor! records, because they are targeted at different markets. Et cetera. Not one of those examples stopped the other being made, or even slowed down the production. Because that’s what being a mass medium means.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Oh… Not farmville you say… Well sorry about that part then. Though, I would still say people seem to place a silly emphasis on color variety.

      Anyway, videogames aren’t quite like movies or books or music, so it should surprise no one that the market reacts differently to proven stimuli. It may or may not be true, but it seems there is great potential for these casual-pleasing business models to do much more damage than it would for those other mass media. It’s funny that you should mention movies though, as so many feel the film industry to be a suffocating, creativity sapping environment that’s currently rather poorly off. It’s an industry where popular trends do, in fact, stifle other interests, just as it might be for videogames.

      As videogames are concerned, the more people you try to please, the less pleasing it becomes for everyone.

    • spindaden says:

      What you want ffordesoon, is SimFarm – it’s probably safe, without any research into the matter whatsoever, to call it the greatest Farm game ever created.

    • ffordesoon says:


      Hey, I didn’t say movies or books or music don’t have their own issues, nor did I say they’re not subject to trends. Everything does, and everything is. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it always will be, because that’s what being a mass medium means. I’m just saying that plenty of content is released to please all demographics each year. There is room in the marketplace for the latest Pride & Prejudice adaptation to sit right alongside Pirahna 3D, and for Pirahna 3D to sit right alongside Hannah Montana: The Movie, and for Hannah Montana to sit comfortably next to Donnie Darko. I’m not saying that any of those are great movies, necessarily, but they all fill a specific niche. For all the faults of the film industry, you can’t say it treats any one demographic with disdain, or that any one demographic didn’t get “enough” movies in X year.

      I find it funny that you mention films being “creatively stifling”, because it seems to me that a medium primarily focused on one demographic would be far more creatively stifling, wouldn’t it? If ninety percent of the film directors working today were only allowed to do action movies, wouldn’t they be constantly complaining about it? That’s kind of the way the games market has been since its inception, though. What we’re going through now are the growing pains of a medium growing out of its gawky teenage years and into adulthood.

      I’ll concede that the pendulum is swinging in the direction of casual gamers right now, but that absolutely won’t be a permanent state of affairs. That’s just our gawky teenage industry trying to fit in with the adults it believes are so much cooler than it. But, just as a teenager eventually realizes all the adults he or she wants to be are just as messed up in their own way as the kids in his or her grade, and thus that he or she is fine just the way he or she is, so too will the industry take a step back from courting casual gamers within a couple of years and become much more balanced in the process. And that’s when we’ll see stuff like BulletStorm and CoD and stuff like Winter Voices and Terraria and stuff like Avadon and Witcher 2 and blah-de-blah all allowed their own little slice of the marketplace. No, the sizes of the slices won’t be equal – they never will be – but things will, in general, be a lot better for everyone then than they are now.

      But, hell, maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? All I can say for certain is that as long there are good games being made, I’ll sure as hell play ’em, be they manshoots in three shades of brown or vibrantly colored cooking games. Good is good is good.

    • ffordesoon says:


      Thanks, will investigate.

  2. Jumwa says:

    I find it odd that Social Gaming and MMOs count as their own thing. So MMOs on both PC and console (not that there are many of the latter) are lumped together? I would think you’d slap in those numbers with PC where applicable. Not that it’s not interesting to note that those markets themselves make up such huge slices of the pie.

    • Shuck says:

      Well, it’s useful to separate MMOs out since the dynamics are different and the total number of MMOs on consoles is currently negligible. “Casual” and “social” are also PC games as well yet the data would be worthless if we lumped them together or into PC games. This means, of course, that although the PC is the primary game platform, there are three or four completely different markets there. (I.e. even though the “PC” portion is increasing, the traditional PC game isn’t reaping the rewards, and PC/console games are doing worse as they see their total market shrink.)

    • Nalano says:

      Well, the traditional PC gaming market seems to be holding steady, with downloads replacing brick & mortar sales, and MMOs on the PC are gaining steam.

      What’s weird, tho, isn’t that PC gaming overall is separated into social/casual/MMO/PCBox/PCDL so much as that console aren’t also split between DS/PSP/PS3/360/Wii, etc, because those are all largely exclusive markets, or at least should be lumped in “handhelds,” “black boxes” and “Wiis.”

      Because I can see that console games overall are shrinking by a lot, but I don’t know which console’s responsible for all that.

    • Jumwa says:

      Good points Nalano. I really don’t see all those hardware devices as being in much of the same market at all. Heck, I wouldn’t even lump the DS and PSP together as really competing devices in the same market, anymore than a cell phone is a competing device to a laptop.

      And yes Shuck, as I said I realize it’s interesting and informative to have the separate, but I don’t think delineating them as entirely different formats for gaming to be particularly right either. I see MMOs and social gaming as less a detour from PC gaming and more as just a new adaptation of games on PC. Much like motion controls didn’t replace console gaming, they just offered a different way to play.

  3. crainey92 says:

    I haven’t bought a game in a retail store for 2-3 years now, they’re always more expensive and it means I need to get off my lazy ass. It was better when PC games were £10 cheaper than console in store but that changed a few years ago and they started charging the same price unlike online, that’s when I made the transition to online/downloads.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Last game I bought in a retail store, was online.

    • Frabble says:

      Same here, picked up Mount and Blade: Warband because it was £5 cheaper in GAME than it was on Steam, and the disc just activated with Steam haha.

    • thegooseking says:

      Where do you live? My experience over the past year has been that retail is almost always cheaper than download (though they have shallower discounts less frequently in sales), and PC is always cheaper than console.

    • crainey92 says:

      I live in the UK, or more specifically Belfast.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, the GAME shops in Northern Ireland are shite for PC games. Although the big HMV in Belfast has a pretty good selection still, or did last I was there.. they keep redesigning it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I can go shopping in the very heart of London, basically the biggest shopping-center in the UK… and it’s still rubbish for PC gaming.

      There are very few mainstream shops that even stock computer games (Virgin went bust, as did a couple of others, HMV is struggling). Game is basically the only specialist shop, and their shops are generally pretty small so only really stock XBox/PS3/Wii and NDS/3DS stuff.

      Now, if I were looking for a female clothing, I’d be in heaven.

    • sqparadox says:

      The last game I bought retail was Fallout New Vegas, and that was only for the store-specific preorder bonuses and then only because it was a Steamworks game, so it was like I bought it off Steam anyway. Other than that it’s been over 3 years since I’ve bought retail. New game prices are usually comparable, but asside from Best Buy, retail’s selection is aweful and none have sales like the major digital distributors (New Mexico, USA). The PC retail market simple srunk away here in the US. I remember when the stores were huge and filled with nothing but PC and a tiny mac section. But those days are gone. With download speeds what they are Steam is often faster than driving to the store and back, not to mention I can do other things while it downloads, so in my opinion it was worth the loss.

    • Kdansky says:

      I buy retail only when it is significantly cheaper than downloads, such as Starcraft 2 from Amazon. That things is 59 € in Blizzard’s own store, and was around 35 € as a box, which I then proceeded to not use once, because I registered the serial and downloaded it instead. It was faster than finding a working DVD-drive.

  4. Rii says:

    I’m more interested in seeing trend data on the emerging markets that’ll come to shape the industry in decades to come: Russia, China, Brazil, India, Mexico, Indonesia.

    • allanschnorr says:

      As I live in Brazil, I can tell what I see: PC gaming is growing thanks mainly to Steam and their sales. Retail is very expensive here, for example, we pay roughly the same as Americans for new releases while our average income is lower, and prices don’t fall until the game is at least a year old, and that’s when the game you want is available in the country. Considering this many people pirated their games, including me and my friends. But since we heard about Steam not one of us pirate anymore. If you visit Brazilian gaming forums you will notice the same trend: many people now buy their games on Steam and even other DD services, not only on sales, but for full price on release too. I can’t see the situation on retail changing at all, Brazilians retailers usually prefer to sell few products with a huge profit margin than a lot with less profit per unit. On the other hand, since Lula’s government there’s a huge grow in the income of the lower classes, many people are leaving poverty and joining the middle class, so, considering how retail works, I think we’ll see DD services usage and PC gaming growing in the next few years.

    • pizzapicante27 says:

      As for Mexico I can tell you that wile most gaming is centered around consoles and mobiles, the MMO market has a large precence, whats the problem? Telmex (Mexico telephone comunications comapny and overlord), charges way too much for their internet services, and Im not even talking about badwith (I pay around 75dollars for a 2mb connection, coupled with phone line, thats a lot for an entertainment service here), I do see services like Steam being viable here, howerver they have almost no marketing here thus are known by relatevely few gamers.

    • tenseiga says:

      India checking in here. Piracy is a major problem on the PC, its more of a cultural thing though not exactly malacious. It just seems a little absurd to buy something you get for free (it seems like a victimless crime) and hence a lot of people pirate. A few people have started buying steam, a large portion of people grow out of gaming once tehy start working (when they can realistically buy games for themselves as asking parents for money to buy games is also unheard of)

      Having said that retail games are MUCH cheaper than buying off steam (e.g. portal 2 was ~$50 but i picked it up off retail for 640Rs which is around $13 quite an insane difference picked up Dragon age 2 and shogun to for just over $23)

      Console penetration is decent, however the playstation 2 is still selling here because of its superb selection and great pricepoint. India is very price sensitive (and buying the console seems ok but buying games seems absurd). I’d like to see statistics too.

    • Screamer says:

      Over here in Africa (the most southern part if your interested) PC gaming has always been on top. It seems paying R599 and upwards per title in country with relatively low average salaries will always be the Achilles heel for consoles here. Juts look at the top 10 sales of 2010 from one of our major retailer:

      Take 2’s Top 25 after the jump.

      StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC DVD-ROM / Mac)
      Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Limited Edition (PC DVD-ROM)
      World of Warcraft 60 Day Pre-paid Game Card European Server Version (PC)
      Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC DVD-ROM)
      World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Expansion Pack (PC)
      Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
      Frontlines:Fuel of War (PC DVD-ROM)
      Medal of Honor: Limited Edition (PC DVD-ROM)
      THQ Ultimate Box Set (9 Game Pack) (PC DVD-ROM
      S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (PC DVD-ROM)

      Source: link to lazygamer.net

    • inawarminister says:

      Indonesian here!
      Well, first off, everyone pirates here. Even the consoles came out of the brick & mortars stores w/ modchips inside of them (except PS3, so far, but we’ll see…) , and only a few non-pirating game shops exist (mainly PS2/PS3 though, the former since there are many fans who buy original games for the sake of… I dunno? Mostly Japanese games though)

      PC… In the personal level, DoTA (and WCIII, of course) and CS are copied around in thumbdisks to anyone who wants to. There are a few who play things like HoN, LoL, but most people just play DoTA against friends in the sprawling net-cafes.Well, there are many game-cafes here, and all of them are pirating the games. The only ones generating revenues here are F2P MMOs, and subscription games (such as SCII $10 6-months packs (?)).

      Steam is almost unheard of. Seriously. (then again, I dunno about university/working gamers, probably they’re buying games? I only have ONE friend that I know buy games from Steam regularly. Most other non-pirates are Linux fanboys who decry gaming except open-source/freeware games :P)

      This is all my personal experience, of course.

      The only ones getting revenues are F2P MMOs and subscription (ala SC2 6-months packs)
      All the others are getting pirated. Hard. (including ALL consoles)

    • Rii says:

      It’s heartening to see that RPS has such broad readership. Thanks for the info guys, fascinating stuff!

  5. Vagrant says:

    I’d hardly classify research that only covers 2 & 1/2 years of data as solid evidence to make concrete predictions for the future.

    • Tony M says:

      They might argue that data older than 2 & 1/2 years old is useless for predicting the future in a quickly evolving market.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I might argue that a thousand-and-a-half people per country, average, possibly a self-selected population if this is an online survey or something is a very, very questionable sample.

      Methodology is important, and not well expressed by badly-compressed JPEG infographics.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      There will never be enough data to predict the future.

  6. Teronfel says:

    I only buy retail if it’s a steamworks game

  7. Terr says:

    I can’t believe that PC-Retail sells more than PC-Download. There’s been so many reports that retail games are slowly fading away and that most PC gamers prefer digital downloads. Makes me doubt how accurate those stats are.

    • Pete says:

      Retail is still very popular with the Christmas present market of people buying games for others and wanting a box to wrap. Retail is also more expensive than download most of the time, which gives it a bigger number.

    • Kaira- says:

      Though most of the boxed games I’ve bought have been cheaper than their DD counterparts.

    • Danny says:

      Yes, I’ve often found online retail is often cheaper than downloads for an older game, for example, I picked up Dragon Age: Origins about 6 months after release for just £8.

      It came in a box, though the disc drive was noisy.

    • Ovno says:

      Its all various version of the sims, every single penny of it….

    • Rinox says:

      Let’s be clear tho, we’re all talking about online mailorder retail, not brick & mortar. In the former games are almost always dirt cheap, in the latter….yeah.

  8. Theodoric says:

    PC games are prvelaent on continental Europe while console gaming is practically all there is in the Uk and the US?
    Wow. Wo’d have thought it. >.>

    • Xercies says:

      Actually to me that isn’t that surprising since all the good and successful PC games do seem to be coming from Europe these days.

    • OddsAgainst says:

      @Xercies Gabe Newell begs to pardon.

    • Nalano says:

      Okay, almost all the good and successful PC games do seem to be coming from Europe these days.

      Valve and possibly Bioware can have their days in the sun, but damn if there aren’t a lotta Ukrainian and Czech up-and-comers out there.

  9. Rinox says:

    7 different platforms?! Whoever has that kind of cash?

    • Colthor says:

      I don’t think they mean platforms as in PC, PS3, 360, DS etc., rather the 7 listed in the graphs. So you could use all 7 with only three devices (‘phone/DS/PSP for mobile, 360/PS3/Wii for console, PC for everything else).

    • Rinox says:

      Oh! Yeah that makes more sense. Even that seems like an extravagance to me, but then I am a very, very cheap man. ;-) Thanks for the explanation.

  10. jameskond says:

    Are ‘MMO Games’ just the subscription fees? Or also the boxed/downloaded products?

  11. zipdrive says:

    Speaking for myself, I’ve only bought one retail game in the last year, and that would be Mass Effect 2 (for 20$ on eBay).
    Even considering most of the games i play nowadays are (free) review, I still think I’ve spend more than double that on online purchases in the last year.
    Looking from the Time Spent angle, I spent about 40 hours on ME2, and about A Lot More on the download purchases.

  12. mbp says:

    I am quite surprised at how healthy the mmorpg revenues are. Given all the stories of companies who are struggling and changing their business models I assumed that World of Warcraft owned the lion’s share of the mmorpg market and everyone else fought over the scraps. Those figures suggest that WOW has less than a quarter of total mmorpg revenues in both USA and UK.

  13. Danny says:

    Wonder how many of the digital downloads are Steam sale games that have NEVER BEEN PLAYED.

    *looks at list of his own Steam Games, considers cloning self*

    • Cyberwizard says:

      I know I’ve got a ton of games that fall into that category. In fact, the current sale has added to my tally :-)

    • Scatterbrainpaul says:

      *looks at list

      At least 10

    • Duke of Chutney says:

      yeh, when you can pick up reasonable titles at less than a 5er per item the list quickly lengthens and gaming time is limited. Also packs of games in steam sales usually contain a few duds.

      I guess digital will continue to increase market share. The question is how ‘bad’ does it have to get before ‘specialist’ highstreet retailers go down.

    • Nalano says:

      Why wait?

      All we have here are the gaming sections of electronics stores, as what used to be EB and Software Etc have since turned into Gamestop and Gamestop doesn’t hardly carry PC games that aren’t MMOs.

  14. kenmcfa says:

    1,600,000 paying social gamers reached by BBC1? What does that mean? They have a TV? They started a social game after seeing it “advertised” on the beeb? What?!!?

  15. Felixader says:

    “Germany has the highest proportion of gamers, where 66% of the population are active players.”
    I am German and this is BULLSHIT.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I’d like to know how they made up that number.

    • Rii says:

      “involving more than 20,000 “invitation-only” respondents from national panels representative of the total online population of 10-65 years old.”

      I don’t even know how to parse this. Which makes me think ‘bullshit through obfuscation’.

    • DAdvocate says:


      Don’t forget that the survey is pretty loose on its definition of gamer, for example it includes those who have played a facebook game such as farmville or a mobile phone game (even if it was only once) sometime over the past year.

    • D3xter says:

      How do you know? Take into account that this includes the likes of “Mobile” games and “Social” games, “Flash” games etc. in its definition of gamer and there are A LOT of people doing that. There’s also a very large number of people that seemingly don’t play much else but Windows Solitaire (or MineSweeper) too, but they play those obsessively :P

    • Felixader says:


      I know this cause i have now been a gamer since the last days of the SNES and some obscure Roundbased Strategy Title we had a demo of on OUR FIRST PC EVER, where i was the only of of the family able to figure this thing out! X-P

      I have to be carefull in germany to say i am a gamer, cause if you do you GET STRANGE LOOKS in a way that isn’t funny and resembles old, old days.

      I could SUMMON a Stone raining Hurricane and barely hit any German gamers with it. X-P

      What i mean with that is that the social acceptance of Gaming as a hobby is WAAAY more behind than anywhere else.
      And many of the few gamers i actually KNOW i know over Forums and you wouldn’t actually try to disscuss games as a serious matter with them, even the grown up ones.

      It’s… it’s just… what they claim here (66 percent OF THE German POPULATION, most don’t even care about facebook games) is JUST NOT THERE.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Invitation only? As in, a few gamers we’re invited and in turn invited pretty much only gamers?

      This is so bullshit it’s got bullshit in it’s bullshit. Don’t they know anything about statistics? Or are they “just” trying to skew the numbers?

  16. FriendlyFire says:

    Not just the USA… Canada too. Retail pricing is extortionate. There’s a reason I’ve gone online-only; I can buy between 5 and 10 times the amount of games while spending the same amount of cash. Often the games are better, too!

    I’ve entirely stopped pirating, no need to anymore because pricing is reasonable. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: it’s things like Steam, which add value to games, that will drive off piracy.

    However, the stats given here are rather misleading. With console games incredibly overpriced ($70 for some games, WTF?), you can quite easily have half as many copies sold on consoles while still having double the income. I guess the business suits only care about money, not install base, but gamers tend to care about the opposite.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But does the opinion of gamers matter as long as they’re still opening their wallets?

    • Shuck says:

      Since console game revenue is decreasing, I think publishers will start caring.

    • DD says:

      I have been in a similar situation here in the states. Games are way too expensive for me to buy retail. Steam and other platforms have made it so cheap it feels like a dream. Even in the horrid second hand store’s like Gamestop or Software ect, the prices still hover around $35 for a used game.

    • 0p8 says:

      “I’ve entirely stopped pirating, no need to anymore because pricing is reasonable. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: it’s things like Steam, which add value to games, that will drive off piracy.”

      i’ll be honest and say i have’nt entierly stopped pirating, but i’m definately buying more games than ever b4 on steam.

      especially with this latest sale.

      i was after FEAR2 +the dlc (i own it on 360) and saw it was £9.99, then realised for the same price i could get the FEAR pack which included FEAR (which i already have on PC and 360), perseus mandate,extraction point,FEAR2 + reborn dlc all for under a tenner!

      also got alien vs predator 2010 for under £4….awseome value!

      definately be buying more sale games in the coming days.

      i know its a common excuse but i honestly use cracked games as a means to test them, as most of them i play for an hour then never play again.

    • Nalano says:

      I dunno if it’s entirely because of Steam that I pay for all my games now or simply that Steam showed up as a viable distribution platform just as I started, y’know, making money on my own post-college. Correlation and causation and all that.

      Either way, I pay for all my games now, and I paid for maybe one game every two months but consumed a lot more than that in my broke years pre- and during college.

    • Avish says:

      “I’ve entirely stopped pirating, no need to anymore because pricing is reasonable. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: it’s things like Steam, which add value to games, that will drive off piracy”

      These days I only torrent games when there is no demo available.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      These days I only torrent games when there is no demo available.

      These days I only steal Ferraris when there is no test drive available.

      You could do what people have been doing for years when someone who makes something goes out of their way to be as difficult as possible for the consumer of said item. It’s a very long, arduous process but it basically boils down to not buying their product. If you want you can even start some sort of group to rally other people with a similar outlook as yourself if you wish to be vocal in your practice of not buying something.

  17. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Edit: I misread one of the things off the graph, corrected now. Please don’t use the whip.

    Too late.

  18. Bureaucromancer says:

    We’ve also hit the point that they need to split the console boxed and console downloads.

  19. blackjackshelak says:

    Retail pricing for games tends to be fairly high, until the game has been out for a while. If I can catch a game I enjoy (or better yet a compilation of games I enjoy) for cheap and they happen to be in a box, I’ll usually grab it when I see it. The trick is that games closer to release will usually be much cheaper to download, so that kind of thing requires a necessary amount of patience or nostalgia to work properly. I still buy games at retail fairly frequently though, but most of them are compilations these days. With the exception of my physical copy of Stalker:SoC the only recent retail purchases I’ve made are boxed sets of Fallout, Age of Empires, and Total War games. The first two I was simply replacing games that got left behind with my parents when I moved out, and the Total War box was sitting on clearance for a long time before I grabbed it.

  20. oceanclub says:

    “In almost all countries, PC gaming in one of its many guises is the dominant form of gaming. The combined total of PC retail, download, web games, social gaming and MMOs take up more than 50% of the timeshare in all the countries that data is available for.”

    And the funny thing is, I bet Microsoft look at this as a problem as it’s cannibalizing XBox-related sales.


  21. ynamite says:

    reply fail.

  22. aircool says:

    Digital more commonplace than traditional retail? Just walk into your local videogame store and try and find the PC game section….

    Does that count as research? Do I get my PhD?

  23. Iskariot says:

    I never buy downloads if I can avoid it. And until now I always could.
    I want my games and other software on a cd or dvd, in a cool box with a cool manual. Buying downloads feels like buying nothing to me. I am very old fashioned I suppose. I even buy DLC only when they are available on a disk, in a box.

  24. Droniac says:

    Lewie, you seem to have misinterpreted the first infograph. It does not represent the percentage of gamers per country, just the percentage of paying gamers out of the total gamers per country.

    It’s obvious when you start looking at population counts. The Netherlands is stated to have 8 million gamers, which is already 50% of the total population, let alone the 10-65 demographic. Similarly, Russia is stated to have 36 million gamers, which can’t be more than 15% of the 10-65 demographic in a country of some 142 million inhabitants.

  25. Fameros says:

    Just a couple of points more about the market in Brazil. Consoles here are a very elitist toy. In the stores, one console game costs on average US$ 160. You read that right, one hundred and sixty american dollars, at the current exchange rate, or almost one hundred pounds. A PC game costs much less, averaging US$ 60, but you will pay that for a three years-old AAA game. On the other hand, a Brazilian PC gamer using Steam will spend no more than US$ 20 per game (and often much less) if he is disciplined enough to limit his buys to sales such as the Summer Camp we are seeing right now. If I had a physical store selling games, specially console games, I would be seriously reconsidering the prospects of my business in the near future. Games or books, they will all be mostly distributed digitally. The economics are simply irresistible.

  26. jamesgecko says:

    That’s an awful chart. But for the little numbers on each platform, you’d think that casual games were making 24 billion and download PC games a measly 1 billion. Instead of the 1.8 and 2.55 billion respectively.

    Also, where are these download games numbers coming from? AFAIK Steam and Impulse and all don’t disclose sales figures?

  27. TrevHead says:

    Im UK here (NE) Although ive been buying mostly indies and games for under a £5 from steam recently usually Ill buy boxed for my AAA games as they are usually much cheaper.

    If im led to believe to correct steam charges each country different rates, and have a habit of pricing games $1 = £1 so that for us in the UK steam isnt all that great.

    Am I correct in this are UK gamers been ripped off?