Web Boosts PC Gaming

    May 2, 2007

PC gaming had a drop off in revenue in 2005 but is rebounding, according to the NPD Group. Retail sales of PC games in the United States were over $970 million in 2006.

Web Boosts PC Gaming
Web Boosts PC Gaming
Web Boosts PC Gaming

The turn around in PC gaming is due in large part to World of Warcraft and its 8 million online subscribers, but the industry is also receiving a boost from the hardware sector. PC and chip makers are touting gaming on more powerful computers. Microsoft has made PC gaming more popular with console-like features and easier online play.

The online element is important for marketers who want to reach gamers, because targeted ads can be displayed in online games in real time. Putting ads in offline games can be more complex and take months of upfront work with game developers.

Online gaming will make up around 19 percent of all video game sales by 2010, according to JupiterResearch, and for 2006 it accounted for 8 percent of all video game sales.

eMarketer estimates that total U.S. video game revenues will hit $19 billion by 2011 and for 2007 they have the numbers pegged at $14 billion in revenues.

For in-game ad firms, online gaming growth will attract bigger advertisers, for both popular games like World of Warcraft and for the legions of casual game players on sites such as Yahoo Games.

"The number of connected devices for Xbox is so low, it creates a barrier," said Ran Cohen of EyeBlaster. "If an advertiser can only reach 3.5 million users, that’s not enough for them."