Research Analyst PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed off some hard numbers that show what many have been saying for the last decade: retail PC gaming is dying. Anyone who has entered a brick-and-mortar videogame store could tell you that from the shrinking PC games section.
According to the analyst, "Retail sales of PC games have been deteriorating for a number of reasons: Developers are producing fewer PC games because of the fear of piracy. Consumers have been migrating from PC games to those played on the current generation of consoles. Retailers do not make the same effort to market PC games, often relegating them to the backs of their stores. Last, the move to digital distribution of games makes downloading them directly to the PC an easier alternative to purchasing the games at retail. "
The analyst does say that MMOs, casual games and digital titles are doing well, which is not great news if you're a fan of games like Crysis, however.
Some markets don't even register due to piracy in Asia: "The US PC game market will decline by 3.0 percent annually from $539 million in 2009 to $464 million in 2014, while the Canadian market will decline from $62 million to $50 million, a 4.2 percent compound annual rate. What’s worse is that in many of the Asian markets the piracy of PC games is so bad that some of them don’t even have market data to share. Ouch. "
The trends will continue, but on the other hand, there will always be one developer or another who wants to test the limits of what can be done on game hardware. Just expect console ports to be included.