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Valve: PC Gaming is the Future

Valve: 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."

14. Great Article Jun 28, 2008, 01:12 CreamyBlood

I think what he's saying is that PC gaming isn't dead. Ignore WOW and casual games.

Like music and movies, the business model is in transition. The PC market, including the World and not just US brick and mortar sales is massive with tons of potential.

Consoles are rigid systems condemned to death from the moment they are built. PC's evolve and are connected.

By selling PC games (or software in general) as a service you can apply multiple patches, making the product better and the customers happy. Consoles are throw-away units.

I don't know, but I've never thought that PC gaming was dead. To me it seems like someone in a position to know, (ie Blizzard, Valve, Stardock) see massive potential, and they seem to be making money for themselves, big titles and little ones alike.

Like I've said before, once this 'console madness' craze wears off and people realize how shallow their games are besides the graphics, they'll crave and demand more depth and better gameplay. The market will eventually supply that demand. Games will get better and better, just not as fast as I expected and now hoped.

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