PC gaming is not “dead,” according to research firm DFC Intelligence. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, DFC analysts revealed that the firm has updated their expected annual forecast for the PC gaming market in 2014 from $22 billion to $25 billion.
DFC analyst David Cole:
The big surprise is that an upfront payment business model still seems to do very well. Dota 2 charged a $30 beta fee before going free-to-play and a great deal of people took advantage of that. So really we see a hybrid business model working where you can call it F2P but still charge upfront.
We’re starting to see a lot more of that type of model, especially on Steam. Early Access has allowed Indie developers to publish Alpha releases of games and charge the fans upwards of $30 for the privilege of testing and helping develop the progress of the game. Loadout is a good example of that happening, as well, as they had gone in beta years ago and only recently went to Steam Early Access for $10 entry before being released as a free-to-play game yesterday.
What I found intriguing about the interview was just how much time players are spending in MOBA titles now, compared to MMO games. Over the last 10 financial quarters (June 2011 – December 2013), the MOBA community has been spending at least 600 million more hours playing per quarter than the MMO community. Even more alarming, the gap during the last year has widened dramatically, with MOBA players spending almost 4 times as many hours playing than MMO’s in Q4 2013.
It speaks a lot to just how the online PC market is headed, but also just to what companies are trying to capitalize on. Blizzard Entertainment are looking to jump in on the market with a MOBA called Heroes of the Storm with, at the very least, a beta this year. It is odd to see the kingmakers of the MMORPG following the trends instead of creating them. Additionally, it does not forebode well for upcoming PC and console MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online, which has been in development for years and with hundreds of millions of dollars in costs.
Either way, the PC market/industry is still strong, and will not be offed by the mobile market anytime soon. That is solace we can all appreciate.
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