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US PC download sales surpass retail sales, says NPD

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NPD's just sent out a notice announcing that PC downloads have passed retail sales for the first six months of the year in the US.

During the period of January-June this year, 11.2 million games were downloaded compared to 8.2 million units sold at retail.

Games sold at retail still share a better dollar revenue, with 57 percent compared to 43 percent from digital services.

However, sales of downloaded and retail games combined were down by 21 percent, with unit sales down by 14 percent year-on-year.

Based on unit percentage share, Steam and came out as the biggest download services for games in frontline and casual games respectively.

"One major finding from this latest report is that the 'big got bigger' in the first half of 2010, with both Steam and Bigfish capturing a bigger share of full-game PC games digital download sales than they did last year," said Anita Frazier of NPD.

"The overall decline of PC games when combining sales via both digital downloads and physical retail sales is impacted by the expansion of social network gaming as well as the continued expansion of free game options."

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