Why the PC is the future on Eurogamer
has more of Valve's Gabe Newell's
thoughts on the state of PC gaming, once again discussing how digital
distribution is rarely accounted for, and that as for MMOGs, he feels that WOW
is "arguably the most valuable entertainment franchise in any media right now."
Here's a bit:
Valve sees 200 per cent growth in these alternative
channels - not just Steam, but including the likes of cyber-cafes as well -
versus less than 10 per cent in bricks-and-mortar shop sales. Steam has a 15
million-strong player-base with 1.25 million peak concurrent users, and 191 per
cent annual growth; none too far off a console platform in itself. The PC casual
games market, driven by the likes of PopCap, has gone from next to nothing to
USD 1.5 billion dollar industry in under ten years, and has doubled in size in
just three. Perhaps most surprisingly, Valve has found that digital distribution
doesn't cannibalise retail sales - in fact, a free Day of Defeat weekend on
Steam created more new retail sales than online ones.
And then there is the game that many claim has been the death of PC gaming, but
that Valve sees as its greatest success story, and its future. "Until recently,
the fact that World of Warcraft was generating 120 million dollars in gross
revenue on a monthly basis was completely off the books," Newell says.
"Essentially, [Blizzard is] creating a new Iron Man every month, in terms of the
gross revenue they're generating as a studio. Any movie studio would be shouting
about that from the rooftops. But it was essentially invisible."