Research by the PC Gaming Alliance concludes global PC game revenue hit $13.1 billion last year, a growth of over 19 percent compared to around $11 billion in 2008. The majority of the growth is attributed to the growing popularity of digital distribution and paid downloads, as boxed retail games saw another downturn and accounted for fewer than 20 percent of total revenue in 2009. The regional breakdown isn't as positive though, while the Asia Pacific region saw massive growth, revenue dropped 10-15 percent in most countries in North America and Europe.
However, it wasn't all good news. While the overall market grew, "most countries in North America and Europe" saw revenue decline "10-15% from record highs in 2008," with the growth of the "Asia Pacific region" market helping offset the decline.
As for the reasons behind the decline, the PC Gaming Alliance cited "the severe worldwide recession," the lack of major new release in "high-end subscription games," along with the growing popularity of free-to-play games and social networking.