Report: 2011 Was Best Year Ever For PC Gaming
The PC Gaming Alliance's third annual Horizons report pegs the overall size of the 2011 PC gaming market at $18.6 billion, an increase of 15 percent over 2010's figure. The traditional market leaders Korea, the U.S., Germany, and Japan account for just $8 billion of the overall figure combined.
The report, compiled for the industry group by market research firm DFC intelligence, points to explosive growth in the free-to-play space as the primary driver behind the impressive 2011 report. Zynga and Nexon both went public with similarly massive IPOs, pulling in around $7 billion apiece after hugely successful years that saw revenues around $1.1 billion for each company.
"While reports of Gaming sales at Retail show signs of struggle, the impact hasn’t been as great for PC Gaming which had an earlier adoption of newer formats, business-models & delivery with: Digital Distribution, Free to Play, and Subscriptions fueling PC Gaming’s strong global growth," said PC Gaming Alliance president and Intel analyst Matt Ployhar in the press release.
After League of Legends came out in China, the game's Chinese publisher Tencent purchased a majority stake in developer Riot games for $400 million – not a bad sum for a startup company with a single game to its name. The market research suggests that Tencent will surpass Activision Blizzard for the highest global earnings total from PC gaming for a single company when the full breakdown of numbers for 2011 becomes available.
The Horizons report also highlights strong showings for World of Warcraft, Rift, and Star Wars: The Old Republic alongside non-MMO blockbusters Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Skyrim as success stories in the more traditional Western style.
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