During March and May, research firm Newzoo surveyed over 20,000 gamers from a range of countries. The results have been tabulated in an official report available only to paying customers, but some detail have been released in a series of infographs. The data is sorted based on platform, and most of the categories make sense. Oddly, though, MMOs are treated as their own platform, just like games for mobile phones or consoles.
Based on the data, Newzoo estimates that US consumers will spend $21.6 billion on games in 2011. Most of that ($8 billion) will go to console titles, but the PC isn't far behind. Combining categories for retail-boxed and downloaded games pegs the PC gaming market at $4.3 billion. MMOs, which are primarily played on the PC (thanks, World of Warcraft), are good for another $2.6 billion, bringing the total to $6.9 billion. Mobile, casual, and social-networking games are expected to rake in slightly less: $6.7 billion combined.
Perhaps the most interesting statistic relates to the amount of time gamers spend with each platform. Of the 215 million hours that Americans devote to playing games, only 19% is in front of a console. PC games, which do not include what Newzoo deems to be casual titles, account for 18%. MMOs are responsible for 12%, suggesting that serious gamers spend more time on the PC than any other platform. Rock, Paper, Shotgun gets the credit for pointing me to this one.