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PC gaming spend on the rise despite release drought – report

Tuesday, 4th February 2014 05:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Western PC gamers spent more in 2013 than in 2012, a new report from DFC Intelligence claims.

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In an extract from an upcoming brief published on GamesIndustry, DFC Intelligence reported global PC gamer spending increased year-over-year in 2013.

The analyst firm expects this trend to continue in 2014, and is forecasting spend of $25 billion.

“Core gamers seem to be willing to spend more money than ever,” DFC’s Jeremy Miller said.

“We thought with the lack of major new releases that overall usage would be down. However, the top titles of 2012 continued to do well in 2013 and new titles like Battlefield 4 and Total War: Rome 2 had solid performances.”

League of Legends was the top PC title of 2013, followed by Dota 2, which was itself the fastest-growing PC game of the year. MOBA is “far and away the largest [genre] because of those two games”, DFC said.

Although free-to-play games are a major contributor to total PC spend, DFC noted that upfront payments are proving surprisingly robust.

“Dota 2 charged a $30 beta fee before going free-to-play and a great deal of people took advantage of that. So really we see a hybrid business model working where you can call it F2P but still charge upfront,” DFC’s David Cole said.

“Also the traditional model where you charge a one-time fee is also very attractive – but again there is now a greater ability to upsell consumers after the initial purchase. We think this is a major driver of growth versus the pure free-to-play games.”

DFC believes PC spend will continue to rise, not in spite of next-gen consoles, but partially because of them; ther eis an increaisng overlap betwene PC and console gamers, especially with major games like Titanfall and The Elder Scrolls Online developed for both platforms simultaneously.

“2013 was a slow year for releases on the PC in large part because developers were gearing up for new console systems. We actually think the launch of the new console systems will help lift the PC game business because there is large overlap between console and PC gamers and it becomes another platform for developers,” Cole said.

Thanks, games.on.net. Image via The Escapist’s Zero Punctuation.

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5 Comments

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  1. dsr

    There is never a “release drought” on PC.
    Thanks to dozens of small projects, online games, and backwards compatibility all the way back to Commodore, there is always something to play if you are willing to try things.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    What #1 said, pretty much. Thanks to the indie scene, there’s usually something interesting going on. Heck, even DoubleFine have become a nearly exclusive PC dev at this point. What with Broken Age, Spacebase DF-9, and Massive Chalice being exclusive to the platform.

    And honestly? DoubleFine is one of my favourite developers. I’ve been giving them money left and right, buying copies of all of their games for myself and all of my friends. It’s good to have them back.

    Also, Spacebase DF-9 is really fab.

    It’s just a very exciting time to be a PC gamer, I think. I mean, developers are finally figuring out that with the PC, they don’t have to hand most of their money over to a publisher. Steam deals are more fair than those of any other publisher, and they can even skip Steam and go with something like the Humble store, if they prefer. And if that doesn’t work for them, they can even set up their own shop and keep an even greater share of the profits.

    I think that since development costs are only rising on the platforms, with people expecting better and better fidelity games to take advantage of what their consoles can do, it’s going to drive a lot of the smaller developers away who’re just not capable of providing that. And as, I think, we’ve proven time and again, aside from the odd mutant, the PC audience doesn’t care about fidelity.

    Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, and the recent Spacebase DF-9 were born on the PC, and they’re hardly known for their fidelity.

    On top of that, you can consider open source efforts, free little games, games from game jams, mods (some of which are ridiculously giant and possess the same quality as the vanilla game), experimental creations, and so on.

    I’ve pointed out before that the reason the PC is never going away is because not only is it an open platform (which is important), it’s a development platform. People make games on the PC first and foremost, and then port them to other systems.

    It’s the birthplace of modern video games. So it’s always going to exist as that font.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. TheWulf

    Tim Schafer really is such a lovely, lovely person. I really hope he never forgets about the PC again. Even if he decides to make multi-platform games in the future.

    But the way things are now… it just feels like the ’90s again. But now we have more of a connection with the developers than we ever have. I learned so much about DF and Tim from the documentaries and they’re really a fantastic group of people, and they trump pretty much every other work environment I’ve seen in any other dev diary.

    Even insofar as not wanting to fire people because he’s a big softie who gets attached to people. He’s awesome. So, yeah, Tim fanboy. I’ve been a Tim fanboy since LucasArts because I’ve loved his games. I guess it’s true now more than ever.

    Man, it’s good to have DF back.

    We live in interesting, exciting times.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Takeshi

    Gotta admit, thought this article was addressing gaming hardware instead of software.

    I have 194 games on Steam, 11 on Origin, 8 games on uPlay and 15 on GOG. Some of these games are repeated though. Like Crysis 2 on Origin and Steam, and Assassin’s Creed II on Steam and uPlay. While I’ve only purchased max 10 games for my PS3.

    I’ll be able to play my PC games for a long time (assuming these services don’t shut-down) while I won’t when my PS3 decides to leave me. Which won’t be for while, but still at some point. And I don’t see PS4 getting backwards compatibility.

    Especially sad when I think of those PS2 classics that just isn’t available to be played unless you’re booting up an emulator. Which I would gladly avoid for a legal copy and the ability to reward the developer and publisher with my money.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. fearmonkey

    Remember when PC gaming was dead…yeah me neither…..

    I have so many games between all the services out there, if they didnt release anything for a year, id still be set.

    #5 6 months ago