Report: Global PC games market bigger, free-to-play still profitable

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Ian Birnbaum at

The global PC games market is healthier than it’s ever been, according to a new report from DFC Intelligence, as reported by GamesIndustry International. PC gamers are “willing to spend more money than ever,” and new free-to-play titles are bringing in new gamers by the truckload.

PC gamers can also thank our cousins in the console world for bringing more people to gaming overall. “We actually think the launch of the new console systems will help lift the PC game business because there is large overlap between console and PC gamers and it becomes another platform for developers," analyst Jeremy Miller told GamesIndustry International. The more people who play video games, the more people decide they’d like to check out PC games.


Image from GamesIndustry International.

Another surprise is the surge in free-to-play games, the growth of which has been almost perfectly mirrored by the decline of traditional MMOs. Check out the above graph, and then tell me who you'd rather be in 2014: designing a free-to-play MOBA like League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients, or preparing to unleash an ambitious MMO with a standard $15-per-month subscription fee? As PC gaming expands, it is becoming more friendly toward smaller, free-to-play games.

DFC has raised its forecasted global market numbers for 2014 to $25 billion, up from $22 billion. The high volume of cash and PC games fans is also good news for indie developers: there are an estimated 285 million people playing games on high-end PCs, which can add up to a lot of attention for Kickstarters, Greenlight campaigns and free-to-play games looking for eyeballs and receptive audiences. The full brief will be released by DFC on February 11, but you can see more early details here.

Thanks, GamesIndustry International.