PC Game Sales 2005: The Truth is Found
LOTS of talk in the last couple few months about a research report put out on January 17 by NPD Group of Port Washington, NY which states very briefly the status of the PC video gaming sales for 2005. This is what most people have been publishing:
"PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, January 17, 2006 - According to leading marketing information provider, The NPD Group, annual 2005 U.S. retail sales of PC game software saw sales figures reach $953 million, a 14 percent decrease compared to the $1.1 billion generated in 2004."Judgments have been made based soly on this statement and not much further investigation into the matter.
I was reading Maximum PC magazine the other day and I came across another example of someone not paying attention. Thomas McDonald (picture from Maximum PC web site) wrote about how bad the PC game industry is doing and that the end is near for all of us PC gamers. Consoles are going to take over the world.
I have two words to say to that; No Way.
What most people fail to understand (or maybe just read) is that in that very same press release from NPD is this, they really don't accurately state what's happening in the PC game market. Here's what they say about this:
" 'While we have seen retail sales of PC games decrease for several years now, we know from talking to consumers about their online gaming behaviors that playing games on the PC, whether it's via online casual sites or through MMO subscription play, has been increasing,' said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. 'As a result, NPD will be launching its new definition of the U.S. PC game market this spring which will include a combination of sales from retail, downloads, and both casual and MMO subscription revenues. We expect this will add significant dollars to the PC game market size.' “
Exactly. PC gamers are smart, leading edge and, well, different. We don't buy games retail, we download them. We subscribe to online games. We have fun our way.
Will Smith, Editor in Chief of Maximum PC sees the light though. He wrote a rebuttal to Tom's article stating the very same type of facts I've listed. Will doesn’t believe that the PC gaming market is drying up or heading out to pasture as Tom does. No, Will sees it as a vibrant market and one not soon to go away. Will's the man!
Here's a list of the top games for 2005 ranked by units sold and compiled by NPD Group:
World of Warcraft
The Sims 2: University Expansion Pack
The Sims 2
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
The Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion Pack
MS Age Of Empires III
The Sims Deluxe
Call Of Duty 2
Source: The NPD Group / Point-of-Sale