Industry research firm, DFC Intelligence, predicts PC titles will be a growth leader.
DFC predicts the video game software industry, which was worth some $52 billion USD in 2011, will grow to $70 billion by 2017. PCs will apparently be responsible for 39 percent of that growth, followed by consoles and mobile devices which are credited with 36 percent and 25 percent respectively. So where are these numbers coming from? DFC has partnered with game-orientated instant messaging service Xfire to quantify the success of new PC titles. According to the company's stats, North America and Europe have seen a record number of users playing games with little or no retail presence, such as Minecraft or League of Legends.
"While the game industry is expanding on all fronts with new demographic groups playing games on a regular basis, the core consumer still remains male, age 12 to 30," said David Cole, CEO of DFC Intelligence. "In every segment, the key growth factor is improving access and monetization capabilities to that core demographic. Digital distribution, already widely accepted among core gamers globally, is clearly broadening access to products and driving much of the industry growth."
Browser-based and social network games are expected to break the $8 billion revenue mark by 2017, but only if content producers begin courting the core gaming market. DFC's data seems to support an earlier report from market boffin collective, SuperData, which suggested that core gamer orientated genres are growing in popularity on social networks and mobile devices.
"The bottom line is core gamers spend money on products they like," Cole continued, "and right now the game offerings on sites like Facebook are simply not appealing to that demographic."