DFC Intelligence: 92% of PC Gaming Is Digital Distribution

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2014 - 08:33 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, reverse-consolitis, steam, GOG, free to play, dlc

So PC gamers rarely go to the store to buy a disk anymore. According to DFC Intelligence, via PCR-Online, 92% of sales for the PC gaming platform were online. This number seems to be based on revenue, rather than units sold. It includes both full games purchased from Steam, GoG, and other distribution services. It, also, probably includes free-to-play revenue, DLC, and so forth.

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Of course, this also suggests that retail sales of PC games has quite a bit of money floating around still. While sources lump several categories together, we could still be talking about a hundreds-of-millions or low-billions order of magnitude (USD). Of course, these are personal, mental math estimates. A grain of salt is required and, in this case, probably good for your (mental) health.

Watch your cholesterol, though.

Again, this is one of the advantages of open architectures. Companies and organizations are allowed, because no-one can tell them otherwise, to try new things. Sometimes, they end up being gold mines that lead to industry revolution, whether we consider the specific positive or negative. However long it takes, it wins. It eventually finds a way, and then the blob tumbles along.

Source: PCR
August 20, 2014 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The last 5 physical games I bought in the store came with Steam keys. I couldn't buy a physical copy even when I tried.

August 21, 2014 | 03:14 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

Most games do come with Steam keys. I, however, have very slow download speeds so find discs a big help. Disks are usually cheaper online. (New releases).

I bought a couple of EA disc based games a while back, got caught by the only three install problem. (Have a few different PC's).

Did get a steam disc based game and it refused to load of the DVD's altogether so I had to download the whole thing which took a couple of days.

The point is lots of those naff indi games are being sold. The only way to get them is online, so I think the figure is heavily skewed. Major releases will still sell. Grandma would prefer to give a DVD under the xmas tree that a piece of paper with a code written down.

August 21, 2014 | 09:09 AM - Posted by ddg4005

Agree 100%. It seems that every few months some report makes the rounds on the Web regarding digital games outselling that of physical media. Kind of like all those reports and statistics that declared the PC dead (and we see how well that played out).

August 21, 2014 | 11:25 AM - Posted by thezfunk

Lack of broadband is a huge problem in this country, STILL! (USA) Imagine the revenue these companies could see if everyone in this country had access to fast, affordable broadband? Our economy would see a big kick in the pants if this effort ever gets undertaken.

I am not just talking about games here. The sales at any company that distributes digitally would see an increase as your potential customer base grows.

August 21, 2014 | 09:11 AM - Posted by funandjam

I've got decent internet speeds, so downloading a game or streamign video is not a problem, Even though the majority of my games are digital downloads, but sometimes, there is something about getting an actual disc with a game on it. Especially if it is highly anticipated game and/or it is a gift, it just adds to the experience for me.

August 21, 2014 | 11:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As much as I love Steam, I try to support GOG whenever possible. It's still download-only, but no DRM so you can make your own disc or keep the installer on an external drive. I'm just really sick of needing user accounts for EVERY publisher. EA, Ubi, Valve, Gazillion, Blizzard, etc. The demand for my personal information is too great to let the trend die, unfortunately.

August 23, 2014 | 12:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Spot on .... those online account shit is really grinding my gears lately. its almost singlehandedly made me play less games than bad games did.

August 21, 2014 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would love to buy physical games, but it simply isn't possible anymore for modern games. If you do manage to get something physical, its just a steam code. Mediocre boxes, no manuals, no fancy installers to get you excited about the game, and often no disk at all.

I once had to go a month without internet access after moving, and Steam was not happy. I could only run a few games straight from their directories; everything else was broken. The first thing I did when I got internet access again was torrent my entire Steam library, and I haven't bought anything on Steam since. It's amazing how easily people come to accept always online and other highly restrictive DRM.

GOG is quite good however - DRM free is an excellent thing, so I buy from them when I can, but their selection of games is limited.

August 23, 2014 | 01:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i feel ur pain... been there many times. as a gaming community people mush stop buying games that has DRM. stop buying them, then the companies will come begging. all those online communities r getting behind lot of other shit but they r not getting together to solve this issue that shouldn't have existed in the 1st place.

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