NPD: PC Game Revenues $1.4 Billion In 2005
Retail analysts the NPD Group, which tracks U.S. video game retail statistics, has announced the results of its surveys on combined PC retail and digital spending. The survey, using 60,000 respondents, revealed that that PC games had $1.4 billion in revenue in North America in 2005, with online subscriptions to PC games and gaming web sites $344 million of that total.
Interestingly, previous data from NPD had shown $953 million in PC retail sales in 2005, a 14 percent decrease compared to the $1.1 billion generated in 2004, showing that the U.S. PC physical retail market continues to decline in favor of increased digital download/subscription revenue.
When split out, some of the most interesting statistics were as follows: pay for single game subscription titles (such as the major MMOs) has $292 million revenue in 2005, with about 1.4 million paid subscribers, and pay-to-play casual gaming subscription sites saw $52 million revenue in 2005, with about 1.05 million paid subscribers.
The NPD also note that the ratio of female to male online gaming subscribers varied greatly when comparing game-specific to casual gaming, with only 29 percent of females being game-specific subscribers versus 49 percent found to be casual game subscribers. Age is also an important factor, with 87% of casual game players being 25 or older, while 55% of game-specific subscribers are 34 or younger
“While The NPD Group’s retail tracking service shows what appears to be a decline in PC game sales, critical developments in the PC games industry, specifically the Internet, is fundamentally changing the PC software industry,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “With the increase in high speed Internet access, not only are users purchasing their games online, they are also willingly paying additional recurring fees over and above the price of the game to subscribe to services that let them play with others online.”