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Industry: MMO Market in Decline as MOBAs Skyrocket; PC Gaming Grows

Posted on January 30, 2014

DFC Intelligence reports global PC gaming software market growth from $22 billion to $25 billion in 2014, while Gartner predicts PC gaming software sales to increase to $20B from $17.7B. Either way, we're seeing nearly $3B in growth over last year. Combined console hardware and software sales are expected to reach $49B in 2014 (PS4, XB1, and respective games sales). This is a $5B growth over last year and is a totaling of PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, and other console hardware and software sales.


The total combined video game market revenue is projected as raking in $101B in 2014.

This is certainly good news for the entire industry. Gaming is being taken seriously by the entire entertainment sector now, having blown past the global revenue of other markets, like the music industry's $16.5B.

Steam also recently reported its record user and software numbers, now housing 65 million players and 3000 games. Let's talk about the PC market.

MOBAs on the March


DFC notes that League of Legends is the most-played PC game for all of 2013 -- as evidenced by its Twitch stats we reported on -- and DOTA2 is a close second. Both games are free-to-play in their current form, which DFC analyst David Cole concludes is important to PC gaming's growth, but not an end-all solution.

"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. [...] the traditional model where you charge a one-time fee is also very attractive....but again there is now a greater ability to upsell consumers after the initial purchase. We think this is a major driver of growth versus the pure free-to-play games."

MOBAs now account for nearly 1.8B hours played in the (Western) game industry and are still rising. This is supported by Riot's League of Legends infographic, reporting 32 million active users, 70 million total registered users, and 5 million concurrent peak users. Click the image for more. DOTA2's highest concurrent peak user-count was reported as 703,000.

lol-infographic-smallFull infographic here.

MMOs -- which exploded in the middle of the decade (EQ leading into EQ2, WoW, DAoC, Warhammer, etc.) -- are on a rapid decline. The MMOG market has fallen from nearly 800 million hours played in 1Q12 to nearly 400 million in 4Q13. Revenue numbers are still pending in the full DFC report.

DFC comments that the FPS market segment also saw strong growth, but hasn't yet released specific numbers for this.

The full DFC report will be available on February 11th. We will follow-up with further details upon its release.

Additional sources: GamesIndustry.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.