Global PC gamer spending increased year-over-year in 2013, in spite of a comparative lack of major new releases.
Games Industry reports on the findings of research group DFC Intelligence, which states the PC portion of the market continues to grow in the midst of a seemingly dry release schedule.
Core gamers seem to be willing to spend more money than ever,” DFC's Jeremy Miller revealed.
We thought with the lack of major new releases that overall usage would be down. However, the top titles of 2012 continued to do well in 2013 and new titles like Battlefield 4 and Total War: Rome 2 had solid performances.”
The MOBA genre also made a big impact, with League of Legends and Dota 2 being the heaviest hitters – the latter being the fastest-growing PC title of last year. Dota 2 was also highlighted for using a hybrid business model that straddles free-to-play and up-front premium payment options.
[MOBA is] far and away the largest [genre] because of those two games,” DFC's David Cole said. Dota 2 charged a $30 beta fee before going free-to-play and a great deal of people took advantage of that. So really we see a hybrid business model working where you can call it F2P but still charge upfront.”
Cole added that the platform's consumers are generally willing to commit to additional spending after the game is initially purchased.
Also the traditional model where you charge a one-time fee is also very attractive – but again there is now a greater ability to upsell consumers after the initial purchase. We think this is a major driver of growth versus the pure free-to-play games.”
The study concluded that the PC market still has further opportunity for growth in 2014, thanks to Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles of all things, and is forecasting $25bn in spending during the period.
2013 was a slow year for releases on the PC in large part because developers were gearing up for new console systems. 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.”