PC game sales are back on the rise, NPD says

With the release of every new console generation, many analysts and bloggers often predict that the death of PC gaming is imminent. Recent PC game sales numbers have certainly given credence to this prediction. However, according to the New York Times, PC gaming may very well be on the rebound. The paper quotes Anita Frazier, an analyst for the NPD Group, who says that U.S. retail sales of PC games—not including online sales or subscriptions—reached $203 million in the first two months of 2007. That’s a cool 48% increase over sales for the first two months of 2006, which added up to “only” $136.8 million. Frazier adds, “Yes, it does look like a fluke, doesn’t it? Rest assured it’s not.”

Those numbers may bode well for 2007 PC game sales, especially considering the unimpressive numbers the PC games industry has seen over the past few years. As the New York Times states, U.S. PC game sales added up to $1.1 billion in 2004, but they sank to $953 million in 2005 and climbed only 1.8% to $970 million in 2006. According to Frazier, the encouraging numbers for the first couple of months of this year “can be tied to several key titles across several genres . . . but we’d be remiss not to address the continued success of World of Warcraft.” Upcoming titles like Enemy Territory: Quake Wars as well as Microsoft’s Games for Windows initiative may help, too. (Thanks to Blue’s News for the link.)

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