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NPD: Digital PC Game Sales Outpacing Physical Sales In 2010

by Jeff Cork on Sep 20, 2010 at 07:14 AM

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The NPD Group has taken an interesting look at PC game sales for the first half of 2010, providing a glimpse of how the market is shifting in some significant ways. First, PC gamers are embracing digital distribution, with those sales (11.2 million full-game downloads) outpacing physical units’ 8.2 million. That only tells a part of the story, however.

Even though more PC users are choosing to purchase their games online, overall sales are down compared to last year. Combined, physical and digital sales are down 21 percent. NPD says that PC game consumers have a wealth of entertainment options at their fingertips, and sales have suffered accordingly.

“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, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "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.”

Here are the top five digital retailers, split between core and casual

Top 5 Frontline Digital Retailers –Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)
1.   Steamgames.com
2.   Direct2drive.com
3.   EA.com
4.   Worldofwarcraft.com
5.   Blizzard.com
 
Top 5 Casual Digital Retailers – Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)
1.   Bigfishgames.com
2.   Gamehouse.com
3.   iWin.com
4.   Pogo.com
5.   Wildtangent.com