A report from NPD came out today putting overall [US] PC game sales at $1.4 Billion. This is MUCH higher than their last estimate, issued just a few months ago, showing [US] PC game sales at only $953 million, off 14% from the year prior and about 50% from their peak around 1999.
But wait, the new report is different. For the first time, they include on-line and downloadable revenue, which is big and growing. They estimate game subscription revenue (i.e. MMOs) at $292 million. I can’t speak to that figure one way or the other.
But they also estimate 2005 sales at casual gaming sites (Pogo, Real, etc) at only $52 million in 2005. That seems VERY low to me. I had done a seat of the pants estimate of the biz at about $200 million a few months ago. That was based heavily on Real’s publicly reported stats, and some extrapolation from that to the whole industry.
Now I’ve just looked up in Real’s annual report, and in 2005, they did $56 million in game revenues (up 63% from the year prior). Real’s figure is worldwide, but they’re US based and focused, and the vast majority of their sales are in the US.
So we’ve got one portal at probably ~$45 million+ [US]. I just don’t see how they only got to $52 million for the whole business in the US. I’d like to see the full NPD report and methodology, but color me skeptical…