PC Gaming Alliance today released a report showing that in year-on-year growth (2009 - 2010) the PC market took in $16.2 billion, an increase of 20%.
Unsurprisingly, more than 25% of that revenue came from China alone, with the rise of F2P titles and the popularity of browser games contributing considerably towards this. Not to be left out, $7.3bn came from the combined sales of the UK, US, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
Apparently, all those naysayers who insisted that the PC was dead as a gaming platform were completely and utterly wrong. Who would have thought it?
The report also shows that Steam currently leads the way in digital distribution, with an estimated 70% of the digital PC distribution market, but with competitors such as Impulse and Direct2Drive hot on their heels and predicted to increase their market share over the next few years.
It seems that publishers are beginning to wise up to the fact that they can get a bigger slice of the pie by bypassing traditional bricks-and-mortar stores and just selling directly to the public digitally, eliminating a good portion of their costs, as well as the cut that the retailers take, in the process.
Steam are the clear leader in this segment right now, but I'd expect some heavy competition coming out from the smaller players (likely comprising of some heavy discounts as Valve are themselves wont to do, or perhaps timed exclusives whereby one of the smaller digital firms gets the rights to sell certain games for, say, a month, before they become available on Steam and everywhere else).
So the sky isn't falling, developers and publishers aren't leaving the PC in droves and the PC is continuing to keep pace with consoles. And speaking of consoles, their most recently-available sales figures (2009) indicate a total revenue of almost $19.7bn (this figure represents PS2, PS3, X-Box 360, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP figures, combined).
On the one hand you have the PC - by itself - at $16.2bn, and essentially every console on the market today, at $19.7bn. The PC is close to beating everyone else combined, and is greater than any single individual segment (even the 360, Microsoft's Holy Grail).
PC Gaming. RIP.