International Data Corporation (IDC) has published some research findings concerning PC and Mac gaming over the next three years. Its researchers have concluded that globally, gamers will spend $24 billion p.a. on their pastime of choice by 2017. This represents a steady growth of four per cent per annum from 2012 gaming revenue figures.
The global growth figure hides a skewed trend which is that, in the US, gaming revenue over this forecast period is expected to slip due to the popularity of casual browser based gaming. However the US slip is more than made up for, globally, by a rising tide of PC/Mac gamers in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), who don't buy-into consoles.
Lewis Ward, Research Director for Gaming at IDC said "Other than the casino genre, it's been tough sledding for most casual-leaning PC game genres in the past year." Ward added some further insight: "Most of the growth is coming from hardcore-oriented freemium titles such as Tencent's and Riot Games' League of Legends, Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2,Wargaming.net's World of Tanks, and a handful of Chinese MMORPGs."
Steam Machines are a "significant opportunity"
Turning to more specific aspects of the gaming market IDC said that Valve's Steam has a big opportunity to break into the living room space over the next few years. However IDC's Ward added an interesting prediction that "The difference between what PCs, consoles, microconsoles, and perhaps even smart TVs will be able to deliver three years from now will be mostly semantic". He also said that the winners among all these new ways to play games in the living room would boast a combination of "great games, a wise mix of business models, an ability to strain key customer insights out of a sea of big data, and offer great a social experience".
GTA V for PC
This release could provide a welcome boost to sales of PC games. Grand Theft Auto V was recently spotted, again, in Amazon etail listings. Both Amazon France and Amazon Germany listed the game and at the time of writing Amazon.de is still listing GTA V for sale at EUR 59.99.
The game for PC remains officially unannounced but hints and evidence of an impending PC release are growing. Meanwhile a UK based Change.org petition, for Rockstar to publish the GTA V on PC, has climbed to over 660,000 signatures.