PC Gaming Alliance Releases Two Member-Exclusive Reports Covering All Aspects of the Still-Dominant PC Gaming Industry

Posted on March 27th, 2013

Also Announces Significant Progress and a Call for Participation in the PCGA Certification Initiative

March 27th, 2013 –San Francisco CA – The PC Gaming Alliance, a not-for-profit industry consortium, is pleased to announce that yesterday in San Francisco they delivered annual custom research results to the PCGA members, and that they shared portions of these findings with the press at a subsequent news conference.  In private sessions yesterday, the PCGA Board of Directors and PCGA Members met with market research firms DFC Intelligence and JPR Research. After five years of producing high quality “PCGA Horizon Reports,” PCGA has doubled their analyst report content and have released the first annual “PCGA Pinnacle Report” featuring the work of these two highly-respected analyst firms.   Released yearly, the PCGA Horizons report enables the PCGAs members to better target their products and plan their product lifecycles based on the information in the report and from the analysts.

 “The exclusive PCGA Pinnacle Reports are a keystone in our research,” said George Hood, North America Regional Sales of Arxan. “The truly independent nature of the PCGA reports complements the findings of our internal analysts. Our analysts tend to focus on our specific market areas, while the PCGA reports give us a company external view of the industry.”

These timely reports are exclusive to PCGA members and encompass all major aspects of the PC gaming hardware and software industry worldwide for 2012 through 2016. Contained in the report: all facets of gaming software and hardware, player spending habits, replacement cycles and system preferences. The reports also cover various market growths and examine which markets and sales venues will be most profitable in the coming years.  While only PCGA members receive the full reports, please see “Appendix A: Software” and “Appendix B: Hardware” at the end of this press release for portions of market information that the PCGA members chose to share with the public.

 “The PC Gaming industry showed strong overall growth of 8% in 2012, partly as a result of the Chinese market gaining traction in the $20 billion global market with record revenues of $6.8 billion,” said DFC analyst David Cole. “In spite of media focus on mobile games and struggling social network games, there are now over 1 billion PC gamers worldwide and that number will continue to grow as more PCs connect online. The ‘PCGA Pinnacle Report for Software’ describes this in close detail.”

 “PCGA membership allows companies to influence and take advantage of the industry in subtle and not so subtle ways that non-members can’t” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of the Tiburon CA based market research firm Jon Peddie Research. “By working together, PCGA members exert a steady force in driving the ultimate gaming experience to new heights. Armed with the analysis done by JPR in the ‘PCGA Pinnacle Report for Hardware’ they are better informed for their next product cycle. If you’re not a PCGA member, you’re missing out on key tools.”

The PC Gaming Alliance is also pleased to announce that significant work has advanced on the “PC Gaming Certification and Logo Program” for PC Gaming, but recognizes that much work remains to be done and invites industry participation from any company that wants to join and positively influence the next generation certifications.

“Because market conditions change, the PCGA certification program will remain under continual development to address specific industry challenges. Retail boxes are disappearing, and recommended system requirements often confuse consumers more than they help,” said Matt Ployhar, PCGA President and analyst at Intel “Consumers are now faced with the daunting task of determining if their new Tablets and All-in-Ones (AiO) are x86 based, will they support DirectX, OpenGL and/or WebGL, and the various operating systems their favorite PC game will play?  PCGA members will be the force for good that will define, develop and deploy the next generation of certifications to help and assist Developers and Consumers alike to navigate these issues.”

 “We are experiencing a shift in the gaming industry.” Said Erik Noreke, executive director of the PCGA, “The power of the latest portable PC hardware is allowing gamers for the first time to bring the full gaming experience with them on the road. They are no longer confined to their home for game play. The traditional desktop is no longer the gaming platform of choice as we are seeing more and more laptops with powerful GPUs and high end audio systems. PC gaming is going mobile.”

 “Effective conformance measures are an essential piece of the PC gaming ecosystem” said Brad Craig, Director at PCGA Member Razer. “Developing state-of-the-art tools for measuring the next generation of PC Gaming hardware will greatly assist the industry to deliver products that are powerful, light and efficient and can handle the demands of next-generation gamers.”

 “PC Gaming has rapid advancements in technology, necessitating a performance measurement and rating system that is flexible enough to serve the needs users and developers,” said Christian Svensson, Corporate Officer/SVP at Capcom USA. “PCGA members are facing the challenge head on and we look forward to having a system that will help ensure a compelling experience is delivered to PC Gamers.”

About PCGA
The PC is the world’s premiere gaming platform, providing a superior gaming experience above all others. The PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) is a non-profit industry alliance whose sole mission is to be a driving force for continued growth for the PC gaming industry and to improve the experience for PC gaming consumers.  Since 2009, the PCGA has provided an open business-to-business forum where companies cooperate to develop and promote solutions that drive the PC gaming industry forward and ensure that the PC remains the ultimate gaming platform. Our members are enabled to make an easier entry into new markets, to engage in excellent networking opportunities and to take advantage of customized and exclusive research from the industry’s best independent analysts. Members work together in subcommittees to solve a variety of issues that affect consumers and industry alike. Additional information about the PCGA and its role as the voice of the PC gaming industry is available at www.pcgamingalliance.org

PCGA and PC GAMING ALLIANCE are trademarks of the PCGA Inc.  All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Appendix A: Excerpts from “PCGA Pinnacle Report: Software 2012 - DFC Intelligence”
Find out who is and isn’t making money and where growth markets are

The global PC gaming software market continues to show strong growth in 2012, reaching a record US$20 billion.  This represented overall growth of 8% over 2011 and 90% growth since the PCGA’s first report in 2008.   Surprisingly, no geographical segments tracked showed a decline in 2012 in overall PC game revenue.

“DFC was surprised the industry still showed growth in 2012 with the decline of large subscription MMOs, heavy attention being paid to the impact of mobile games, and the struggle of many social network games,” said DFC analyst David Cole.  “However, 2012 saw significantly increased distribution of successful titles that positively impacted the market, including Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Minecraft and the Mist expansion to World of Warcraft.” 

China continues to be the largest and fastest growing market for PC games with record 2012 revenue of US$6.8 billion, a growth of 9%. Additionally,  mature game markets in Korea, Japan, U.S., U.K. and Germany all showed growth in 2012.  Together these markets also increased revenue by 9% in 2012, to $8.4 billion. 

The report notes that overall there are over 1 billion PC gamers worldwide and that number is continuing to grow as more PCs are connected online.  Even more impressive is that over 250 million of those gamers play what are defined as “core games;”  sophisticated strategy, action and role-playing games that have been the heart of the video game business for many years.  In many markets the PC is the leading platform for high-end games, as television-based console systems are too expensive for the average PC gaming consumer.

The report also notes that the growth of mobile is also helping the PC game business.  The combination of mobile and PC as platforms is helping drive the growth of small self-funded teams that can develop more targeted products on a modest budget.  Of course, originally created by a single developer in Sweden, Minecraft is the best example of the trend towards low cost projects that can have enormous market success.

The report concludes that the PC game business will continue to grow at a pace of 6% CAGR to $25.7 billion by 2016.  This growth is driven by growing access to broadband connections and the increasing ease of digital distribution delivery solutions and payment methods on a global basis. 

Appendix B: Excerpts from “PCGA Pinnacle Report: hardware 2012 - Jon Peddie Research
Read findings that are not so obvious, as well as a predictive forecasted model out to 2015. 

The PC gaming market continues to be a robust, active, and growing market worldwide. It has done well in good times and in troubled times, whereas the sales of games fluctuates drastically in the console market.

The PC gaming market suffers from living in the shadow of the console market, and even though sales, and number of units sold of gaming PCs is higher than the sales or units sold of consoles, console games outsell PC games. As a result of this imbalance, game developers are drawn to the DX9 world of consoles and then re-port their games to the PC. That leaves the PC with a game that doesn’t fully exploit all of the hardware capabilities the user paid for.

The PC gaming market is larger in hardware sales than the console gaming market, but few analysts or members of the press seem to know that, or care. Our basic definition of what constitutes a “gaming PC” is that it uses an x86 processor. There are four primary form factors available to the PC gamer:

Desktop. The traditional PC box is the most popular with high-end gamers because it accommodates high-end add-in graphics boards (AIBs), which are necessary for fast frame rates on high-resolution display(s). Some AIBs can drive up to six monitors.

Portable. Battery-powered portable computers, which are also known as laptops, notebooks, Ultrabooks, UltraThin, Hybrids, and MacBooks have recently become more popular as gaming systems with the inclusion of discrete GPUs (dGPUs) that can be turned off when not gaming. Portables vary in size from 11 to 17-inch displays and drive one or two external monitors.

All-in-one (AIO). The AIO desktop computer resembles a thick monitor, and can vary in size from 20- to 27-inches. Typically equipped with a touch screen the units can support one additional monitor.

Tablet. The latest generation of gaming devices is tablets that use an x86 processor.

Keyboards and mice are obvious accessories for a gaming PC, and suppliers have created specialized gamer keyboards, gamepads, and mice to meet this need. Speakers and headphones are also popular accessories for a gaming machine. Moreover, head-tracking, and gesture sensing devices, steering wheels, joysticks, and pedals, as well as motorized chairs and projection domes are sold for gaming.

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