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On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn

A tweet from Mat Piscatella comments that consumer spending on PC content was down in last year despite what he calls "the great PC distribution platform wars of 2019" (thanks Wccftech). Lest we think this industry analyst is throwing red meat to Epic Games Store haters, a follow-up tweet responding to one of them suggests otherwise. Here are both tweets:
The great PC distribution platform wars of 2019 did not do consumer spending on PC content any favors btw. Priorities of enhancing consumer experience & choice and minimizing confusion were all deemphasized in 2019, contributing to lower overall consumer spend on PC content.

No. PC content sales were down in 2019. Data suggest to me that all the movement with dist platforms contributed to that, as did a number of other factors. I wouldn't point to a single platform. PC was a rocky market in '19 with quite a bit of disruption.
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38. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 26, 2020, 10:33 jacobvandy
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 16:19:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 05:53:
there's only ONE version of Borderlands 3. ONE Metro Exodus. ONE Phoenix Point. And ONE Shenmue 3. You can't buy another version of those games on another store.

Not to sound like I'm defending Epic because I have no interest in doing so but you can get Metro Exodus and Phoenix Point through the Windows Store and also get them on PC through Game Pass. The Outer Worlds too for that matter (that's how I played it.) I'm not sure what loophole developers are able to use to get around their Epic deals this way but a number have and more seem to be.

It's not a loophole, Epic obviously cares most about ensuring the games aren't on Steam. So they are flexible, when they can't just walk all over them like they do indies.
 
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37. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 26, 2020, 08:58  RedEye9 
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 16:19:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 05:53:
snpt

Not to sound like I'm defending Epic because I have no interest in doing so but you can get Metro Exodus and Phoenix Point through the Windows Store and also get them on PC through Game Pass. The Outer Worlds too for that matter (that's how I played it.) I'm not sure what loophole developers are able to use to get around their Epic deals this way but a number have and more seem to be.
Not to be defending someone who is not defending Epic but Metro Exodus was also on sale at Humble Bundle.
 
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36. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 26, 2020, 07:49  Burrito of Peace 
 
For me the math is pretty simple and doesn't involve any platform:

There are fewer games coming out that interest me. Ergo, I do not buy as many. I am weary of the constantly recycled AAA "blockbusters" and their scads of content that is ultimately pointless because it's just filler. AC is a prime example of a huge game with mostly pointless content. FC is another.

Pretty much the only games coming out this year I will absolutely buy are Cyberpunk 2077, KSP 2, Evil Genius 2 (the first one is an insanely fun and underrated gem), and Balsa Model Flight Simulator (by one of the original devs of KSP).

I'm iffy on Watch Dog Legions (because I think it will be infected by the same sea of inanity as the AC and FC series), and VtM: B2.

So that's four purchases and two maybes. Six total which is way, way down from when I would historically purchase double that in a year.
 
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35. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 16:19 Parallax Abstraction
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 05:53:
there's only ONE version of Borderlands 3. ONE Metro Exodus. ONE Phoenix Point. And ONE Shenmue 3. You can't buy another version of those games on another store.

Not to sound like I'm defending Epic because I have no interest in doing so but you can get Metro Exodus and Phoenix Point through the Windows Store and also get them on PC through Game Pass. The Outer Worlds too for that matter (that's how I played it.) I'm not sure what loophole developers are able to use to get around their Epic deals this way but a number have and more seem to be.
 



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34. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 13:08 Fion
 
Yes blame stupid consumers and their confusion, not Epic for starting the problem in the first place.

Fucking idiots.
 
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33. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 12:43 HorrorScope
 
Sacrifex wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 11:39:
Between the free games on Epic, the"free" games on Twitch Prime, and the odd giveaway, I got over 100 free PC games on the last year, and a lot of them were legitimately good games. Add Game Pass coming to PC, and I didn't need to spend as much.

It's not all on Epic, or Amazon/Twitch, or Microsoft, but if you add them all up, it's pretty obvious why the numbers are down.

All of that, probably some good sites now for just "Free gaming" and not talking FTP krap.
 
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32. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 11:52  RedEye9 
 
Sacrifex wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 11:39:
Between the free games on Epic, the"free" games on Twitch Prime, and the odd giveaway, I got over 100 free PC games on the last year, and a lot of them were legitimately good games. Add Game Pass coming to PC, and I didn't need to spend as much.

It's not all on Epic, or Amazon/Twitch, or Microsoft, but if you add them all up, it's pretty obvious why the numbers are down.
Google Stadia destroyed gaming!
Wait a sec, did that come out it in '19 or twenty.
 
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31. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 11:39 Sacrifex
 
Between the free games on Epic, the"free" games on Twitch Prime, and the odd giveaway, I got over 100 free PC games on the last year, and a lot of them were legitimately good games. Add Game Pass coming to PC, and I didn't need to spend as much.

It's not all on Epic, or Amazon/Twitch, or Microsoft, but if you add them all up, it's pretty obvious why the numbers are down.
 
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30. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 11:09 HorrorScope
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 02:36:
It's a good point, so I wonder if the amount Epic paid for their 100 or so free game offers in 2019 was factored into the total game sales for that year. It should have been. It's revenue, regardless if it comes from individual customers or from Epic.

"consumer spending on PC content was down". Consumer spending, not industry spending. My take since I don't think this has been published is Epic mainly pays for the freebies based on time played, it is still a good marketing ploy for the maker getting their game into others virtual hands. I've played about 1 hour of one freebie so far and that be that.

Personally it wasn't a big spend year and it hasn't been large in years. Sales, crazy sales, games I have and still revisit and acknowledging backlog and playing from that vs always going new being the factors, I am still playing the same amount. I've recently been looking at new games on sale and internally I'm just thinking how insane this all is, I have a shit ton played and unplayed which is as good as anything new. Then I still have a hard time to choose what's next to play.

Gaming is like the rest of the medias, way more than one can consume and even formulate a good plan on when to consume. Revenue may be down, but there are so many avenues where revenue is coming in, can one measure accurately since a lot isn't public? It isn't necessarily a healthy market from the makers perspective due to competition, but it's a an over abundance of gaming choice for the consumer, if it is unhealthy tit is due to gluttony not famine.

This comment was edited on Jan 25, 2020, 11:41.
 
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29. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 10:37 Cutter
 
Boom. Bust. Echo. Economies have downturns for all kinds of reasons. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. A handful of shitty free games on Epic does not a downturn make.

 
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28. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 08:57  Prez 
 
I bought fewer than 30 games last year, after accumulating thousands in the previous few years. There's your cause for the downturn. Sorry about that.  
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27. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 08:09 Bumpy
 
Epic Store and their exclusive policy is plain anti-consumer and is doing nothing good for PC gamers.

Their free games absolutely has effected my pc gaming and purchasing decisions.

I've still purchased games on GOG.com that I got free from Epic cause GOG.com is worthy to support 100%.
 
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26. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 05:53  Kxmode 
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 02:32:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:44:
[rest snipped]
If you don't shop Epic's store and it is the only place to buy a game that would have otherwise appeared on another storefront, then yes, they did deny things. They took away consumer choice.
The same way Walmart "takes away consumer choice" by offering exclusive Lego sets?

No. Not the same way. A version of a set is only available at Walmart. For example, this Star Wars Hoth Medical Chamber can only be purchased at Walmart. However, you can find 204 non-exclusive Hoth Lego sets at Amazon. Pretty sure nobody cares if Walmart has that one exclusive. With video games, there's only ONE version of Borderlands 3. ONE Metro Exodus. ONE Phoenix Point. And ONE Shenmue 3. You can't buy another version of those games on another store.
 
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25. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 05:43 eRe4s3r
 
Going exclusive on Epic is like selling a Ferrari on a school fund-raiser where everyone else is just making soda or cookies because it's a pre-school for 5 year old's who lost both legs in the distribution wars.

You can still take the cookies and soda out of pity, but that Ferrari you better buy in a proper store.

Yes, I have bad analogy fever.
 
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24. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 03:58 Quinn
 
How can one say so little with so many words?  
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23. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 03:54  Ant 
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 25, 2020, 02:37:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 23:30:
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 23:06:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:28:
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 21:53:
Lmao, is there any way possible giving away millions of free PC games didn't have an effect on sales. .
Every game given away was a sold game and counts as a sale. Epic just didn't magically have the games given to them so they in turn could give them away.

Receiving a free game doesn't stop someone from buying another game just like giving away free cheese samples doesn't stop someone from buying another cheese.

PCWorld Epic Games Store's fight against Steam has made PC gaming better for everyone

No, but receiving a free game occupies someone's time playing and prevents from having to buy a game.
Saying there was a downturn because a person received a free game and played it preventing them from buying another game doesn't hold water.

That does not jibe with what really happens. How many people here have a backlog, I'm willing to bet that backlog does not prevent them from purchasing more games.
Yup, I have yet to play any of the games I received free from Epic.
Me too. I haven't even downloaded its launcher. Maybe ONE day. I did finally downloaded Origin launcher over a month ago to use my free basic month offer to play and finish Torchlight 2!
 
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22. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 02:37  jdreyer 
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 23:30:
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 23:06:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:28:
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 21:53:
Lmao, is there any way possible giving away millions of free PC games didn't have an effect on sales. .
Every game given away was a sold game and counts as a sale. Epic just didn't magically have the games given to them so they in turn could give them away.

Receiving a free game doesn't stop someone from buying another game just like giving away free cheese samples doesn't stop someone from buying another cheese.

PCWorld Epic Games Store's fight against Steam has made PC gaming better for everyone

No, but receiving a free game occupies someone's time playing and prevents from having to buy a game.
Saying there was a downturn because a person received a free game and played it preventing them from buying another game doesn't hold water.

That does not jibe with what really happens. How many people here have a backlog, I'm willing to bet that backlog does not prevent them from purchasing more games.
Yup, I have yet to play any of the games I received free from Epic.
 
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21. Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 02:36  jdreyer 
 
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 23:06:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:28:
Acleacius wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 21:53:
Lmao, is there any way possible giving away millions of free PC games didn't have an effect on sales. .
Every game given away was a sold game and counts as a sale. Epic just didn't magically have the games given to them so they in turn could give them away.

Receiving a free game doesn't stop someone from buying another game just like giving away free cheese samples doesn't stop someone from buying another cheese.

PCWorld Epic Games Store's fight against Steam has made PC gaming better for everyone
But they weren't sold, isn't that a form of fraud. Epic paid rights and pub gave them games, then had a party to give them away free.
It's exactly the strategy trumpjrtinyhands used to get his books on NYTBSList. The gop bought all his books, then gave them away at rallies.

No, but receiving a free game occupies someone's time playing and prevents from having to buy a game. It stops legitimate sales and effects geoeconomic PC sales.
If someone receives 30 free games over 2 or 3 months (no idea what the count was), why would they need to buy games.
They could spend their money on something important in this broken economy.

Sorry not clicking that link, never seen a single legitimate position, for a 3rd party to extort customers into buying from them or go without.
There hasn't been any example of benefit for customers, except free games to those who choose to accept them.
Afaik, most if not all seem to completely ignore all the negative consequences of this scam. Paperbag

It's a good point, so I wonder if the amount Epic paid for their 100 or so free game offers in 2019 was factored into the total game sales for that year. It should have been. It's revenue, regardless if it comes from individual customers or from Epic.
 
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20. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 02:32  jdreyer 
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:44:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:39:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:34:
Epic is the reason why we can't have nice things.
From the above post;

"Lest we think this industry analyst is throwing redu meat to Epic Games Store haters, a follow-up tweet responding to one of them suggests otherwise."

No one has been denied things. Nice or otherwise.

If you don't shop Epic's store and it is the only place to buy a game that would have otherwise appeared on another storefront, then yes, they did deny things. They took away consumer choice.
The same way Walmart "takes away consumer choice" by offering exclusive Lego sets?
 
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19. Re: Re: On the 2019 PC Content Spending Downturn Jan 25, 2020, 02:30  jdreyer 
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:40:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 24, 2020, 22:28:
PCWorld Epic Games Store's fight against Steam has made PC gaming better for everyone

Yeah, where have I heard that before? That's right. When people in positions of power take things away and respond with "we're doing this for your own good." Epic's Store only made things better for Epic. They have yet to make the PC gaming landscape consumer friendly, developer friendly, and competitive.

You do realize that by endlessly discussing Epic, you're helping them. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
 
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