"There have been a bunch of stories written recently, both in the gaming press and the mainstream business press, that PC gaming is dead,"said Gabe Newell during a small press event held yesterday at Valve's offices in Bellevue, Washington.
"Is there a crisis in [PC] gaming?" was the question Newell intended to answer. "You know, 'Piracy killed my game,' 'Console numbers are huge,' 'People don't want to play their PCs in the living room' - all these stories get written over and over again, and our view is that it's exactly the opposite. PC is where all the action is, and there's a perception problem."
Newel then pointed out that, according to Gartner Group data, there are over 260 million online PC gamers and that Steam alone has 15 million connected gamers, with 1.25 million peak connected gamers, and 191% year-over-year growth.
"This is a market that dwarfs the size of any of the proprietary closed platforms", Newell said. But where do all those 'PC is dying' reports come from? Newel explained that while worldwide retail PC game sales have been relatively flat since about 2001, PC online sales have continually grown. Problem is, online sales data is not tracked by major analysis firms such as the NPD Group. Same goes for online subscriptions, ad-supported free online games' revenue and microtransactions.
Valve expects their online sales to surpass their retail sales within the next three months.