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UK PC games market surpasses £500 million milestone

by Mark Tyson on 7 February 2014, 10:30

Tags: Valve, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC

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While the PC is sometimes viewed as a secondary platform and lucky to get console ports, by some industry players, sales of PC games in the UK are bringing in record amounts of revenue according to recent reports from IHS (via MCV UK). Last year UK gamers spent half a billion pounds on PC video games.

MCV notes that boxed PC games sales are really at a low ebb but the PC digital market more than makes up for that slide. In 2013 PC boxed games sales amounted to $42.7 million, which was a pretty dramatic 25 per cent fall from 2012 figures. For a wider look at the trend check further back to 2003 - at that time boxed PC games generated a smidgeon under £200 million.

Figures from IHS estimate that the UK PC digital market, including social and casual games and MMO revenue, was worth £458 million last year. Interestingly, looking deeper into these figures the casual game sales have been declining but download-to-own sales have experienced significant growth. We have previously reported on the growth and success of the Steam platform in particular and this and other digital sales seem to be more than making up for boxed sales losses. However this success has not got onto the radar of many big games publishers, it seems, as games like GTA V are still not officially announced for PC. In a report on HEXUS at the start of 2014 we saw that a single 8-hour PC Steam sale doubled one indie developer's multi-format games revenue for the whole of 2013. That is what selling to PC gamers at keen prices can do for your revenue...

One of the many Steam sales

An interesting quote concerning PC gaming was garnered by MCV from Imre Jele of UK PC developer Bossa Studios, who said "We’ve heard it time and time again that the PC gaming scene will die, yet it remains strong." He also pointed out that "Some of the most creative and inspiring games of last year arrived on PCs first." Do readers agree?

HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Interestingly, looking deeper into these figures the casual game sales have been declining but download-to-own sales have experienced significant growth.
From what I've seen a lot of these casual type games (the “Angry Birds” type stuff) have become browser-based, so I guess these wouldn't necessarily count as “PC” games even though you might be playing them on that platform. Ashamed to admit that I've been giving tower defence games Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers a thorough going over.

I'm not surprised the amount of boxed PC game sales has fallen - mainly because the ease of (or lack thereof actually) getting those retail. If you go into Game, HMV, Asda, Sainsbury's etc they're much more focussed on selling on XBox or PS - good luck finding anything other than “budget” titles or perhaps the latest, greatest game of the month.

As a result I've pretty much shifted download only for PC games. Worse still, now I've got a PC that can actually play most games (MOH:Warfighter excepted) for longer than 15 minutes without seeing BSOD there's more incentive to PC game. Final nail in the coffin was the changes that Microsoft made to XBox Live to accomodate the XBone. Result being that my Xbox is (literally) gathering dust - I'll have to power it up sometime soon to check if it needs any updates.

Funny problems with XBox360 powerpacks in this house, we've got six and none seem to be able to hold charge for more than about a week.

Big agreement though on the desirability of the Steam sales - some of those are just too tempting to resist. :o
The only physical copy games that I tend to buy are the Collectors Edition versions, which include ornamental objects, otherwise I'm paying out more for the game than the comparable digital download
Could be higher if prices matched Amazon US and other oversea digital suppliers. And it not always down to conversion rate only working in our favour, but lower prices to begin with.
It's not the worth price
Yup, browser and android games dont count as PC games.