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Weekend Talk Amongst Yourselves

Illustration for article titled Weekend Talk Amongst Yourselves

This is it, the last day of October in which to talk about video games. Do it! Now!


Thanks to Shibbs for this, not-reused, image. Sorry about the dupe earlier this morning.

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The PC gaming week made me think about something... it's the whole "PC gaming is dead" debate.

People basicly throw this claim into a discussion but hardly have any evidence to back up their claim besides "there are no games for PC", "there is no money in PC gaming because of piracy" or some old NPD sales report. So i figured there must be a way to bring some actual facts to this discussion.

These facts can be easily obtained, trough the annual finnancial reports by publishers. So i did look up some reports and the results are rather suprising. That's why i'm gonna share them with you people here:

(All $ numbers are MILLIONS)

Electronics Arts

Link to the report: []

Important information is on page 184 of the adobe document.

Net revenue by platform

Xbox360 - $868

PS3 - $771

Wii - $570

PC - $687

As you can see the PC made even more net revenue then the Wii did. It's within shooting range of the PS3.

Activision Blizzard

Link to the report: []

Important information is on page 27 of the adobe document.

Net revenue by platform

Xbox360 - $857

PS3 - $584

Wii - $584

PC - $1.412

It should be noted that this is the Report of 2009, all other publisher reports are from 2010, the one for activision 2010 isn't released yet afaik. So it doesn't include Starcraft 2, but it does include Modern Warfare 2. As you can see WoW is hard at work. The money generated by WoW alone dwarfs any other platform by far.

Also MW2 had a huge impact on the console net revenue, boosting it considerably. For comparisson here are the 2008 numbers that don't include MW2:

Xbox360 - $362

PS3 - $241

Wii - $407

PC - $1.251

Without a mega release like MW2 the WoW/PC revenue alone surpasses that of ALL consoles combined.

Take Two Interactive

Link to the report:


Important information is on page 23 of the adobe document.

Net revenue by platform

Xbox360 - $171

PS3 - $155

Wii - $5

PC - $10

That's Red Dead Redemption hard at work, which didn't get a PC release.

The PC once again generated more net revenue then the Wii did.

Without such a mega seller the platforms are way closer to each other. For comparisson reasons here are the numbers from 2009 where no huge console exclusive title like RDR got released.

Xbox360 - $30

PS3 - $11

Wii - $15

PC - $13

As you can see, without a huge console exclusive getting released the PC holds up pretty well. Who knows how the numbers for 2010 would have looked if they actually released RDR for the PC too...


Link to the report:


Important information is on page 16 of the adobe document.

Sales by platform in %.

(sadly there is no net revenue in $ values)

Xbox360 - 22%

PS3 - 23%

Wii - 26%

PC - 8%

Okay doesn't look that great over at Ubisoft. But the question is, why? Hasn't Ubisoft been the one who invented their awesome new DRM to combat piracy? Doesn't look like it worked that well... to the contrary i think it actually backfired. Also they make the majority of their money trugh Wii casual titles, so it could also be a problem with their overall software lineup.

Another Publisher i wanted to add had been Bethesda Softworks (ZeniMax Media Inc.). But sadly i couldn't find any annual finanical reports from them. If you find them feel free to share them.

But it's not far stretched to assume that the PC side of things don't look that bad at ZeniMax either. Considering that that Bethesda has a tradition in strong PC games, they also have Arkane studios, Splash Damage and the newly aquired id Software which traditionaly are also very strong in the PC sector.

So here you have it, these are actual facts about the market situation. And they clearly show there is TONS of money to be made on the PC. It's the task of publishers/developers to tab into that potential and actually make that money.

And before anybody brings this up: I'm well aware that EA has The Sims, Acti/Blizzard has WoW which are big hitters. But as the examples of MW2/RDR show that the console market also depends very heavily on a few very big franchises beeing sold. So i don't see that as an valid counter-point.

Thanks for reading (if you got this far) feel free to discuss and feel free to link to this comment the next time some troll comes along going "there is no money in PC gaming herp derp".