PC and Mac games revenue to top $24 billion by 2017
We've been focusing a lot on the decline of the PC hardware market of late, but the software spend still looks strong. The latest survey from market intelligence specialist IDC predicts that PC and Mac gamer spending will grow to over $24 billion by 2017.
It also finds that while global PC/Mac games revenue is set to grow at around four percent a year the US market will start to slip.
This is mainly a result of casual, browser-based games shifting to mobile devices and a drop in the popularity of subscription products like World of Warcraft. IDC says that this change is driven by a rise in living standards in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, along with the failure of games consoles to make much headway in emerging economies.
"Other than the casino genre, it's been tough sledding for most casual-leaning PC game genres in the past year," says Lewis Ward, Research Director, Gaming at IDC. "Most of the growth is coming from hardcore-oriented freemium titles such as Tencent's and Riot Games' League of Legends, Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, Wargaming.net's World of Tanks, and a handful of Chinese MMORPGs."
The company also forecasts that Valve's Steam service has the opportunity to expand into North American and Western European homes due to the Steam Machines initiative.
"Demand for prepaid digital games should remain stable if not rise at the margins through 2017 partly because key developers, publishers, and platform providers will ramp up their offerings on HDTVs," adds Ward. "The difference between what PCs, consoles, microconsoles, and perhaps even smart TVs will be able to deliver three years from now will be mostly semantic. The platforms that outperform will have great games, a wise mix of business models, an ability to strain key customer insights out of a sea of big data, and offer great a social experience."