A new report from American stat analysis group NPD suggests that the value of digital PC games market is now far greater than the boxed sector.
The numbers claims that 11.2m PC games were purchased in North America between January and June 2010. In the same period just 8.2m boxed PC games were purchased at retail.
However, the good news for bricks and mortar retail is that the real money remains in physical product – in total dollar revenue terms traditional retail still accounts for 57 per cent of the market.
The bad news is that even when the numbers are combined the overall PC games market is down 21 per cent year-on-year for the period, with unit sales falling 14 per cent.
Steam remains the largest digital games retailer, followed by Direct2Drive, EA.com, WorldOfWarcraft.com and Blizzard.com. In the casual space Bigfishgames.com grabbed the largest share followed by Gamehouse.com, iWin.com, Pogo.com and Wildtangent.com.
“One major finding from this latest report is that the 'big got bigger' in the first half of 2010, with both Steam and Bigfish capturing a bigger share of full-game PC games digital download sales than they did last year,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier stated.
“The overall decline of PC games when combining sales via both digital downloads and physical retail sales is impacted by the expansion of social network gaming as well as the continued expansion of free game options.”