These days PC gamers complain that game developers more and more focus on consoles but there's a simple reason for this. Research data by NPD shows PC games accounted for only 4.8 percent of the retail gaming market in the U.S.
Retail sales of PC games totaled $910.7 million in 2007 while the non-PC gaming market reached a peak of $17.94 billion. Three years ago PC gaming accounted for $1.1 billion but since then it's been declining. However, one thing to take in mind is that more and more gaming revenue is earned online and this data isn't included in the figures from NPD. Blizzard for instance has 10 million WoW subscribers which pay $12.99-$14.99 per month to play their game.
"The PC games sales landscape is changing to one that is increasingly reliant on digital sources of revenue," NPD analyst Anita Frazier told GameSpot. "Our sales reflect the retail climate but there is a lot of gaming sales activity that is generated from digital downloads and subscriptions. I think the PC market continues to be quite healthy and we're continuing to work on how to get our arms around the spending that occurs outside of retail. A number of our [surveys] ask respondents to indicate which platforms they game on, and the results of those questions make it very clear that the PC remains very prevalent, if not dominant, in the total gaming picture."
Here's a look at the ten most popular PC games of 2007 in the U.S.
1. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (Blizzard Entertainment) - 2.25 million
2. World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment) - 914,000
3. The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack (EA Maxis) - 433,000
4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward) 383,000
5. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (EA Los Angeles) - 343,000
6. Sim City 4 Deluxe (Maxis) - 284,000
7. The Sims 2 (Maxis) - 281,000
8. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (Maxis) - 271,000
9. Age of Empires III (Ensemble Studios) - 259,000
10. The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack (Maxis) - 236,000
Looks like World of Warcraft and The Sims dominated the PC market last year.