$911M PC game haul puts '07 US total near $19B

Despite digital-distribution-induced 6 percent slide of retail PC titles, NPD reports some 267.8 million games were sold domestically during 2007.

The gaming industry is bigger than ever, with the NPD Group ringing up the non-PC market's 2007 total at nearly $17.94 billion in US retail revenues, up 43 percent from 2006. But not every part of the industry is doing so well--at retail, anyway.

Despite ringing in the year with the fastest-selling PC game of all time, retail PC sales were down in 2007. The NPD Group today confirmed its PC retail tally for the year, pegging the market for boxed computer games at $910.7 million. That's down 6 percent from 2006's $970 million take, and off even more from PC gaming's 2004 peak of $1.1 billion. One reason for the slide in retail revenues is that much of the business is going online, where the NPD Group doesn't track it.

"The PC games sales landscape is changing to one that is increasingly reliant on digital sources of revenue," NPD analyst Anita Frazier told GameSpot. "Our sales reflect the retail climate but there is a lot of gaming sales activity that is generated from digital downloads and subscriptions. I think the PC market continues to be quite healthy and we're continuing to work on how to get our arms around the spending that occurs outside of retail. A number of our [surveys] ask respondents to indicate which platforms they game on, and the results of those questions make it very clear that the PC remains very prevalent, if not dominant, in the total gaming picture."

The Entertainment Software Association trumpeted the NPD's data today, announcing the combined PC, console, and handheld gaming industry's $18.85 billion in 2007 US retail sales as a new record. The industry trade group noted that roughly 267.8 million games were sold during 2007.

The ESA also specifically pointed to a handful of trends, saying that sales in the "family entertainment" genre of games more than doubled, up 110 percent from 2006. Continuing to paint a family-friendly image of the industry, the ESA noted that less than 16 percent of games sold last year were rated M for Mature, with games rated T for Teen representing 28 percent of games sold, and more than 56 percent of games carrying a less restrictive rating than that.

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Discussion

94 comments
damariners
damariners

Steam and Direct2drive is the way pc gamer buying the games.. wasnt buy online is the best way in pc business...

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

NPD would need to work with Steam and Direct2drive in providing information on the game revenue. That way NPD would be able to get more reliable information about the facts of PC gaming.

nytemarex
nytemarex

What they didn't take into account is that looking at software alone, consoles made up $6.6 Billion. Now split it up amongst X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii and DS, PCs are doing quite well in sales.

Armadous
Armadous

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Armadous
Armadous

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Foreward66
Foreward66

playing shooters on console is like building with blocks while whearing boxing gloves, or with other words the controlls are rubbish and that is one of the main reason i would never think of getting an console

ndrewn
ndrewn

I think people dont have the same compassion to customize,tweak, and OC you gaming rig. The reason I switched from console to P.C. is because 1. you can make your gaming rig how you like it 2. Lots Lots and Lots of exclusives and multiplats 3. you can do a lot mare with a P.C. than console

Jonez69
Jonez69

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

minhas32
minhas32

PC will never Die.Released halo3 For PC.I am waiting to Play this game on my PC

BringTheBlood
BringTheBlood

nate1222 i will agree with you some what on the computers. but do you honeslty think Wii is looking better then the 360/ps3?? come on dude, what are you 10? cause thats whos being targeted by nintendo, not hardcore gamers, i wouldnt waste my time or money on a Wii, its gets boring, the games are retarded and childish, and the graphics suck. ill stick with playing my buddies instead of buying it.

Wuflungdung
Wuflungdung

In regards to nytemarex comments. PC gamers are a very small market for the hardware companies. You would have seen prices for hardware at an almost if not all time low, this is due to so many big companies getting into the computer fold and buying huge quantities of products like RAM, HDDs, CPU's etc. But you will notice that video cards are still just as expensive as before. Thats due to the fact gamers are a tiny market in the computer world. I play both console and pc games, I find console games to be more comfortable. You can plug it in and it works, there is no tweaking of hardware and making sure you have the drivers etc. BUt the biggest reason is it is actually more comfortable to sit in a nice chair lean back and enjoy playing a console game, it just doesn't work like that for pc. It's not so easy to lay down and play a pc game. Consoles give you the opportunity to sit down with 3 mates for an evening and have a blast, you don't get the same experience on a pc. PC for me is for strategy games. Console is for everything else.

zero1602
zero1602

dont ever say that wii is better than 360 or ps3 its not smart to say lololol

nate1222
nate1222

@skyline7284 I agree with you. Although I am mostly a (dare I say it here) 'console' gamer, two of the things I love about PC gaming are: (1) backward compatibility (something Sony and M$ are half assing lately) and (2) most good PC games ( Unreal Anthology, Diablo, WoW, Counter Strike) run well on medium powered rigs. Console makers, especially Sony and M$, have created an unneccessary GRAPHICS RAT RACE. Eventually, I'm upgrading my GPU to an 8600 or 8800. Right now I'm a XBox360 man. But it's loosing its flare and the Wii looks like a better alternative.

nate1222
nate1222

Currently, I play some 'older' PC titles (Unreal Anthology, Diablo II, ES4:Oblivion). My rig is 'decent'; 3.33GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, GeForce 8500 GT (512MB) GPU. But it's the price of graphics/video cards that hold PC gaming back. You have to shell out $400 every 2 years! About $300 every 5 years for a console. And the trade in factor; if I get tired of a console game I can recoup some funds on it. PC games DON'T allow that, nor do GPUs!

CTAWATER
CTAWATER

The problem with the average gamer these days is that it's easier to buy a console that is totaly devoted to gaming instead of buying a pc and upgrading it. A PC will last almost forever if you take the time and upgrade and maintain it. We are now in the disposable technology age where after something better comes out, we toss the old one aside (i.e. ipods, gaming consoles, controllers, etc). I enjoy my 360 but I would rather play on my PC for the sake of no freezing, FR issues, and overheating. It's sad that people pay over $400.00 for a console that doesn't last for over 3 years. My brother-in-law has gone through 3 xbox360 systems in over 3 years and with the money that he put forth in buying those consoles and accessories, he could have bought a really nice gaming PC. You also have to look at the trade-in market too. Gamestop and EB have become household names now so parents will take their children there and trade-in their old stuff for a new game. PC stuff has no value after it's open b/c of CD keys and copy laws. I agree with JackfnBurton as well; nice post!

smfes
smfes

I'm a pure PC gamer my self and i have tons of games. I myself recently bought Bioshock and Call of duty 4 form steam since it was easier and way to go and bought a couple games there. My recent retail purchases has been Gears of war PC, UT3, STALKER, Tiberium Wars, WOWTBC and many more.

ready2freeze
ready2freeze

JackfnBurton, you are totally right man.

Velzrad
Velzrad

NPD only tracks US sales.

Mars_999
Mars_999

PC gaming RULES! PC Gamer for life.

skyline7284
skyline7284

Ok so ive sen a few people mention The Sims. The Sims owns actually a large marketshare on the PC (compared to most games), considereing how many people are on the official website (theres a lot of people) and judging by the number of fansites for it (thousands) Its one of the biggest PC games released. A lot of PC software is in Role Playing Games and Simulations Games. Don't get me wrong that FPS games don't sell but look at The Amazon.com Top Selling PC games at the moment... 1. Sims 2 Freetime 2. COD4 3. World of Warcraft 4. World of Warcraft Battlechest 5. Orange Box 6. Sims 2 Deluxe 7. Sim Castaway Stories 8. SimCity 4 9. Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Deluxe Edition the list goes on and on. This was a great year for PC games, However i think next year will top it. Sims3, Spore, New WoW Expansion, BF3? I mean common, the PC is one of the longest going platforms for gamers, and probably the best for online play. Take BF2 for instance, It came out 4 Years ago and still has over 900 servers running, 24/7. And by the way for those of you who hate The Sims, a majority have probably never tried it.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

U.S. Retail PC game sales down over 11 percent in 3 years and no online retailer willing to give sales numbers. Don;t quite know how Gamespot can say 'most' of the retail sales have gone to online sales, because there are no online figures. It's just Gamespot putting an obvious spin on the news rather than just reporting the news in an unbiased way. Yet another sign of immaturity in the gaming media. The gaming industry does not hide it's successes under it's hat. If STEAM were moving so many units that they and others were taking up that 11% plus downturn, we'd be hearing about it I reckon. You cannot have the fewest number of PC titles released and huge growth in retro, casual and independent gaming and still have increasing game sales at retail. Gamespot would have you believe the same sort of PC games are being sold, but more are being downloaded rather than sold at retail. I agree that more games are being downloaded, but they are retro games from abandonware sights and $10-15 casual/independent games. They were not AAA PC titles, because as mentioned above, the lowest number of these were released in 2007 and the vast number of those that were released were sub 7.0 games in Gamespot;s eyes. Yes, the PC games market is shrinking, but mostly it's changing. Average gamers are fed up with upgrading their PC's to keep up now that they have a fairly powerful PC at home and rather than buy the Crysis' and the Bioshock's, that would require an upgrade, they downloaded or purchased on ebay retro games from 3+ years ago or bought casual or independent games, none of which forced them to upgrade. What most people don't realise, is with both The Sims, with single player and World of Warcraft with online the best selling PC games, by far, are designed to run on average PC's and have average graphics!

theKSMM
theKSMM

PC gaming has its strengths and weaknesses. They've been pretty well outlined, so I won't rehash them here. But I will say that buying PC games at retail has become more difficult due to the lack of outlets that sell them. In my area, the only places to find reliably a decent selection of PC games are Circuit City and Wal-Mart. And those sections are usually smaller and less well-organized than the console gaming sections. Nonetheless, I will say that among the benefits of PC gaming are: user-generated mods, much higher backward compatibility, cutting edge technology, and more mature gamers online.

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

People have been predicting the death of computer gaming for almost twenty years, and it's usually people who don't even use them. So if you think you're stating something brilliant by doing so in 2008 don't pat yourself on the back just yet. It does tend to be more costly to game on a PC if you're like me and upgrade your hardware frequently. But with premium gear comes premium performance. It's the difference between driving a Mustang and driving a Ferrari. People have different tastes and priorities, but as recently as this weekend I demonstrated to someone why I play - for example - Elder Scrolls 4 on PC rather than console. "Wow, that looks so much better!" Looks and works. You bet it does. You get what you pay for. If you want to game on a console then more power to you, but if you know someone who has a truly high end gaming PC and knows how to maintain it then you know someone who wouldn't play a FPS a console if you paid them to. And if you're in to online gaming - as the article suggests - a large segment of the PC gaming market is there now. It seems to me if they haven't been tracking it up to now, they probably should. There's more people playing WOW online right this second then voted in all of South Carolina yesterday. Plus, you have to remember that the revenue cycle for gaming is cyclical. Every time there are new major console releases revenus for PC gaming dips, and then in two years or so when the static nature of console tech renders them antiquated, a segment of people put them in the closet and move on. Then you may or may not see a dip in console sales. Meanwhile I just pop in a new video card or CPU and continue what I was doing. It's all peaks and valleys people, and the people who track and report on these things often fail to see the connection.

rockutd
rockutd

PC gaming is dying.Its more affordable to game on consoles.Guess PC is good for RTS though...

twiztiid
twiztiid

You can't really calculate the whole cost of a computer as the total hardware cost when comparing to a console because most people would have a standard computer even if they do no gaming on it. so really the actual cost of a PC for gaming is the extra hardware used for gaming. When you look at it that way the cost difference is much smaller. And also the games for PC's are usually $10 or more cheaper than console games. And FPS can never compare on consoles. Much better on a PC.

Kfoss
Kfoss

well nice to see were not forgotten, actually i have been very happy with the titles in the last 8 months and theres been a ton of em' thank you random e3 decree from Microsoft to put more X titles to the PC! lol any who but vista has thrown a wrench in the works...in that its just a big flippin os that takes up a ton of ram even before you play a game ..on the 32 side..64 bit gaming is probably where things are headed i would imagine, just more resources available...hell you can go as far 16gb ram with 64 ultimate, now imagine the graphics cards and processing that would work with that...that would be really sweet..but also they could slim the OS as well.. to free up system resources...i don't know i just cant get over that it would seem for efficiency XP is the best Microsoft can produce...

nytemarex
nytemarex

Console Gamers should be thankful for PC Gaming. Trust me, PC Gaming cannot die or the whole video gaming industry dies. Here's why: 1) Most PC Gamers buy top/mid range video cards such as the nVIDIA 8800GT/7900 or the ATI HD3870/X1900. Every time PC gamers buy hardware, hardware companies make HUGE profit. From there, they help console companies like Microsoft and Sony to develop their high end consoles. Without the profits from Intel, AMD, nVIDIA and ATI, console prices would skyrocket. 2) Without PC Gaming, hardware companies wont develop new hardware. Where do you think all this super technology consoles are having now came from? PC's. Before the 360, PC gaming was amazing, especially in 2004 because of it superior graphics and relatively cheap prices. Piracy always bring down profits in PC, but as long as it is in control, video game industry won't have to worry about releasing games for PCs. I don't know about you, I always buy PC games. The last two games I bought from the stores were Supreme Commander Forged Alliance and Crysis. Both games are AWESOME.

homebrew197516
homebrew197516

"The PC games sales landscape is changing to one that is increasingly reliant on digital sources of revenue," That says it all for me. The last game I bought in a shop was Battlefield 1942, how long ago was that? Ever since then I buy my games from online shops or I download them from Steam.

Puckhog04
Puckhog04

PC has everything beaten in gameplay and graphics. Don't kid yourself, it's true. Oh, and check Newegg. Midrange PC's aren't anymore than $1000. Now, if you want a nice gaming rig that'll last a few years you'll be spending about $1400 - $1800. That being said, those rigs usually come the newly released 8800GT graphics card and 4gb of ram (along usually with the dual core Athlon 64 processor that we PC gaming enthusiasts love so much). PC gaming offers much more bang for you buck. Btw, Digital Distribution FTW. :)

xiongjr2001
xiongjr2001

the reason y console is climbing fast is due to the fact that consoles are cheaper....a ps3 or xbox360 console cost rougly $500++ while a mid range pc while cost a least a 1000 plus....a mid range pcis better than a 360 but will nvr beat a ps3...so xbox 360 offers better value for money and the games are priced the same... however there is always a segment of market where gamers wan better quality graphics offered by pc ..gamspot had done a test b4 a 8800 grahics with dx10 beats ps3 hands down so my point is ppl who wan beter graphics will play pc if they r on budget than console is the option....since many games today are released on pc and console

doanm
doanm

@technowiz999 To add to your points it should also be mentioned that we should look at some of the pricing trends that have been going on over the many years of gaming. It was only several or more so years ago that a decent gaming computer had a price tag of over $2000 or so and even the generic run of the mill crap still had a price tag (remember how much a top of the line PII system cost back then people?). Nowadays you can get a very good gaming computer for something a bit over $1000 that can run modern games extremely well. Now look at the consoles. Way back then during the Super Nintendo days, a SN console and a Sega Genesis console cost $200 or so. Now look at todays consoles. (Bear with me since i'm going by canadian prices) We have a $400 PS3(which is not reflective of how much it should really cost since you mentioned the $300 loss per console) and a $400 Xbox 360 with a $126 loss per console(again not reflective of how much it should really cost). I won 't count the Wii since Nintendo is making REAL profit from that thing and have not made a dramatic price leap like the other two mentioned. In short: PC gaming is getting cheaper. Console Gaming is getting more expensive. EDIT: I just bought myself a new rig a couple days ago(Core 2 duo 2.33 Ghz, Radeon 2600XT, 2 GB memory, Asus motherboard with 500w case) not including hard drive since i just pulled that thing out of my old dead rig. And guess what? All that only cost me $515 to buy with tax(which is ridiculous in Canada since we get around 13-15% tax rate). Yup its getting all the more cheaper to be a PC gamer and it could only get better in the future.

skrat_01
skrat_01

@ Veggie530 You really dont know much about PC gaming at all do you? The amount of Co-op games on PC DWARFS console co-op games, thanks to user made modifications. Not to mention other mods. You cant play GTA3,Vice,SA online multiplayer can you now? Or HL2 co-op? And connection to make full advantage of multiplayer? You need a connection to get the full advantage of your 360 :| At least many PC games still have bot support, unlike most console multiplayer games. Crappy PC? Well any PC can run WoW, CS, Star Craft, C&C3 ect, so its no wonder the user base is still massive. Did you even read the article???? "A number of our [surveys] ask respondents to indicate which platforms they game on, and the results of those questions make it very clear that the PC remains very prevalent, if not dominant, in the total gaming picture." With digital distribution PC gaming is thriving more than ever - and would easily exeed one billion, if dd was included. And no im not a hermit, or fanboy, im just as much of a console gamer as a console only gamer. Im just being a realist.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

PC Gamers buy all their games online, or most PC Gamers do anyway. If i'm strolling down the street and it's convenient to pop into Gamestation on the highstreet, i'll probably find a game i like and like the price too :P But mostly, Amazon/Play.com hold the best prices for games these days, by such a long way that buying in the stores for the sake of it feels like throwing my hard earnt cash down the drain. I'm happier buying Xbox 360 games in stores because the prices don't really change much place to place. PC Gamers also have a lot of things like Steam making buying games in boxes look boring and dull, when you can just download the content and play it almost instantly.

veggie530
veggie530

910 million in a year that the console sales set all time records is a pretty good year, in my opinion. The PC problem is lack of being able to really co-op anything and some people just don't have the connection to take full advantage of multiplayer, and some people have a crappy PC for games but a new gen console. IDK, PC's are way better than consoles but I doubt they'll ever top $1B at the rate things are going.

deadwolf13
deadwolf13

Perhaps we all owned computers that could play all the games in 2004, and we didn't have to go and buy new ones or buy upgrades that can cost three times as much as game consoles to enjoy new games that come out every time.

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Sorry t37nguye, but that's incorrect logic. The reason why people "pirate" games is usually to demo them. Many times, they will still buy the title...if it's worth $49.99. And it's important to realize that most people who pirate games would never buy the games in the first place. So, it's pointless to speculate how much money game makers are losing by piracy. Honestly, piracy is a pain in the a$$. Multiplayer usually doesn't work due to unique product keys, many times they can never be updated or patched, and there's always the risk of viruses.

Blacksheep1982
Blacksheep1982

"A number of our [surveys] ask respondents to indicate which platforms they game on, and the results of those questions make it very clear that the PC remains very prevalent, if not dominant, in the total gaming picture." I am really glad to see the above quote. I also think they need to find a way to track downloads. I hear a lot of Web sites (Tom's Hardware) and others saying the PC gaming is dying and developers will only make money on consoles. Well, as we can see people still game on the PC and WoW is the second highest selling game of the year. It's not dead, developers just need to stop going Xbox first, then PC 6 months later as people with both will go for the one that's out first. Secondly, developers need to consider making their games accessible on lower spec PCs, because I think there is a lot of fear that games won't run one someone's PC so they just skip them altogether. Come on game developers, don't bail on us! I'm not going back to shotty controls in FPS, I want my mouse!

t37nguye
t37nguye

I think PC games will see further decline because of piracy. Whenever a new PC game is released, it appears on file sharing network the next day and one week later a crack comes out that enable people to play the pirated copy without any problem. The anti piracy technology that game companies use does not work and usually cause more troubles for the legitimate buyers. I remember when Bioshock was released, I saw 100k+ people leeching it from a file sharing website. Now each copy of Bioshock sold for 49.99, the company lost 100,000 x 49.99 = 4,999,000 dollars!

FriskyMeerkat
FriskyMeerkat

So far just in January I've ordered 3 games off Steam and only bought one from the store.

cybolt
cybolt

The piracy problem mentioned by a few people could only be relevant in games that are single player only. Multiplayer games are checked by the server and do not allow connections from unofficial clients. Therefore, piracy could actually increase the number of multiplayer games sold, as people try the single player mode, get addicted, and want to play the multiplayer requiring purchase. Personally, as I'm earning enough to be able to afford my hobby, this is not an issue (I buy all my games, after all, my industry demands it!) but really, piracy isn't that big an issue. Plus, Bioshock was pirated a huge amount AFTER purchases, because the ludicrous copy protection locked out many legitimate consumers! But yeah, as stated, digital distrubution is increasing on PC, and not providing its information is discrediting the platform.

1q3er5
1q3er5

Give us the real PC numbers, this data is worthless without steam and Direct 2 Drive downloads and online monthly subscriptions. You include that in the revenue numbers would be MUCH larger. Look, think about WOW, millions paying a MONTHLY fee all not accounted for! I also want pirated copies tracked LOL becuz everyone KNOWS pirating is out of control on the PC platform. These are only USA numbers no? They don't include the fact that a game like "the witcher" has sold a million copies but has flopped on the usa market. You get all that data and then you have the REAL PC numbers.

matthewjackman
matthewjackman

Its not only digital downloads but postal orders that are throwing the figures way off. For the last 3 years I have bought all my games online so the NPD wouldn't count me at all.

thesaxmaniac
thesaxmaniac

They should really start tracking online sales figures. These numbers are making the pc look bad.

Merl57
Merl57

I wish 360 games were 40 bucks new but that wont happen

Canitbe
Canitbe

[quote]PiNwOrM Tech, you had a point until you said PC's have undeniably better gameplay and stories than consoles. In regards to stories, I'm sorry, but a game doesn't have a better story because it's on PC. Story is unrelated to platform. As for gameplay, I suppose that's personal choice, but many games do play better on on consoles (games like Geometry Wars (even if it's small), Overlord and so on). Beyond that, it's dependant on the game and personal choice. [/quote] Actually, thats not true at all. One reason for this is the undeniable low cost of developing for a PC versus a console. I can remember plenty of text based games that cost almost nothing to develop that to this day STILL have better storylines then more then half the console trash out there. Indi games come out on a regular basis and generally, on the Win/MAC/Linux only (due to cost of developing on a console). These games in general are undeniably some of the best story telling out there.

CYSYKO
CYSYKO

I buy most of my games through steam. With Crysis being the exception since it isnt offered. They should start to track online sales from Steam and Direct2Drive. Its either that or the NPD continues to release incomplete data on PC sales.