UK PC Gaming Market Dead? It Shrunk by 31 Percent In A Year

Figures published by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) on the 6th of January showed that last year, its members have sold more DVDs, games and music than ever before. Time for Champagne? Not yet. There's a massive black spot on the chart provided.

PC games in UK have been decreasing by 31 percent in 2008, from 12.2 million to 8.5 million. By contrast, sales of console games has grown from 58.2 million to 74.3 million. To put it simply, the console games market went from being 4.7x bigger than PC games to nearly 9x! Eight in every nine games sold in this country are console games.

While the figures do not include downloads from online services like Steam and direct sales from publishers, it does paint a very bleak picture for PC gaming, especially against the backdrop of the impressive video game growth. GFK also released data which shows that five PC games sold in 2008 accounted for 76 percent of all PC games sold in the UK.

At this rate, UK PC gaming will account for less than one million units by 2014. There are a number of clues as to why this is happening. Research group Nielsen company published the top 10 PC Game titles in the US. None of them were produced in 2008 with three of them (yes three), nine years old, even older than Windows XP!

Although some have questioned Nielsen's methodology, it is clear that there's something wrong going on. There's at least two other reasons why PC gaming is down. Have a list at the top 100 Games being offered on, arguably the most popular torrent search engine. Most of them are for the PC platform with more than 2600 seeders for a single game.. Unsurprisingly, piracy is having a huge impact on sale figures.

Last but not least, while a Playstation 3 console or an Xbox 360 will last you well over 1000 days at a cost of 30p per day, PC gamers have to invest significantly more to get the same level of playing nirvana. A great gaming machine cost around £500 and need more frequent refreshes.

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Our Comments

What more to be said. The figures were announced the same day as Ziff Davis Media sold 1UP and closed Electronic Gaming Magazine. In this recession, there's the real possibility that PC gaming will be dealt a fatal blow.

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