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Report: PC gaming software sales reached $20 billion in 2012

by Andrew Yoon, shacknews.com, Mar 27, 2013 5:00AM PDT

The PC Gaming Alliance, an organization which includes both AMD and Intel, have announced the results of two new commissioned reports. Unsurprisingly, the group finds that PC gaming has grown yet again.

According to DFC Intelligence, the global PC gaming software market has grown to $20 billion in 2012, an increase of 8% over 2011. Games like Diablo 3 (pictured), Guild Wars 2, and Minecraft are credited for bolstering the industry, in spite of the decline of subscription MMOs and increased competition from mobile games.

The report points out that China is the fastest-growing and largest market for PC games with nearly $7 billion of revenue. Not only does China have a rapidly-growing economy, the console market is non-existent there, giving rise to PC as the dominant platform.

There are over one billion PC gamers in the world now, and DFC expects the industry to grow to $25.7 billion by 2016. As Matt Ployhar, PCGA president pointed out at a press conference yesterday, "you need to add three consoles to get close to that figure."

Jon Peddie Research also offered some further insight into the demographics of PC gamers in America. According to their report, the average Windows-based PC gamer is now 35 years old--a high number which the "PC industry wants to try to reverse" by appealing to younger gamers.

However, the "enthusiast" market of the PC is a significant driver of revenue to the platform. For example, although only 5% of GPUs sold are top of the line, they represent 20% of GPU revenue. Thousand dollar cards like the Nvidia Titan "have helped that situation," JPR's Ted Pollak pointed out.

Pollak says the key for future growth in the PC gaming market is education. "You have a great experience for only $600," he said, emphasizing that many PCs on the market today are gaming-capable, even if not advertised as such.