There are three major sides to the digital gaming industry. You have mobile games, always growing in popularity. Then you have console games that are constantly adapting and growing more powerful and portable. Finally, there are PC games, an age-old classic that many die-hard fans still swear by.
According to recent data and statistics, PC games worldwide are expected to reach over $39 billion by 2025. The stats, tables, and graphs below cover all you need to know about PC games.
Keep reading to learn what you want to know. Whether you’re a potential game developer or just interested in proving a point with your friends, the statistics below are here to help you out.
Top PC Games Stats
- PC games are expected to reach over $39 billion by 2025
- The total number of PC game players by 2024 is expected to be 1.8 billion
- PC games make up the lowest market share in the gaming industry, between 20% to 24%
- The Average Revenue per User for PC games is higher than consoles at $2.2
- Despite that, PC games still make up 63% of all platforms for game developers
- Weekly, gamers tend to spend 7.5 hours on PC games
- Most PC gamers are between 30 and 39 years old
Related Article: Mobile Games Stats
How Much Do PC Games Make?
The PC industry is steadily growing. According to Yahoo!Finance, the share revenue of PC games is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.21%. This means that by 2030, they will reach an estimated USD 32.11 billion.
However, according to some estimates, the market value may grow even higher. According to Statista, PC games may make upwards of USD 39 billion by 2025.
While this sounds like a large number, and it definitely is, PC games actually have the lowest percentage of market share compared to mobile and console games. While they tend to be somewhat close to console games, they are still regularly at the bottom when it comes to market shares.
This may be because it’s rather expensive to play PC games. While PC games themselves aren’t super expensive by themselves, buying a computer powerful enough to play a game is costly. In the long run, consoles tend to be more expensive, but the initial cost does turn off many potential gamers.
PC Games Monetization
One of the reasons why PC games are at the bottom of the list for revenue is that there are not a lot of ways to make money. In-game ads are popular with mobile games. When it comes to consoles, you usually have to pay for online capabilities.
PC games, there is the cost for the initial game. After that, there are only small, in-game purchases such as loot boxes, skins, and competitive seasons. Many companies also pump out DLCs to get more money and extend game time.
It’s hard to calculate exactly how much PC games make. There are games by big AAA companies that earn millions or even billions of dollars while Indie games may only make a couple of thousand dollars. However, the cost of developing the game also needs to be considered.
|World Region||Estimated spending among PC gamers|
|Western Europe||$16.7 billion|
|Eastern Europe/ MENA||$14.3 billion|
|North America||$12.5 billion|
|Latin America||$2.8 billion|
PC Games Market Size
Despite being pretty low when it comes to revenue, PC games make up most of the market size. On Steam alone, there are tens of millions of users every week. While some of those just log in to the platform, there are still several million who actively play games every week.
|Month||All weekly Steam users||In-game Steam users|
|March 2023 (current peak)||33.6 million||10.1 million|
|January 2023||33.1 million||10.3 million|
|January 2022||28.7 million||8.2 million|
|January 2021||25.4 million||7.1 million|
|January 2020||18.1 million||5.6 million|
As you can see from the graph below, PC gamers make up over half of all gamers. While they may also play on other devices, they consider themselves first and foremost PC gamers.
Interestingly, these numbers are going down. While the total number of gamers is increasing, and so is the number of PC gamers, the number of other gamers is increasing at a faster rate. This is likely due to the number of casual gamers increasing.
Casual gamers tend to avoid console and PC games and instead play quick and free (or very cheap) mobile games. This makes the mobile game market revenue much higher than other game options as ads don’t cost anything for the player except for a bit of time and provide a fair amount of income for the game developers.
The games are also much smaller in size, graphics, and gameplay mechanics meaning they’re often much cheaper and faster to make. This all means that mobile games and the mobile game industry are increasing at a faster speed than PC or console games.
Another interesting fact is that although PC games have the lowest market share, over 63% of developers still focus on PC games. This is because, although there’s less market revenue, PC gamers offer a steady revenue.
Hardcore gamers often enjoy PC games, especially online ones, over other types of games for several reasons. For one, PCs are upgradable. This means you can use the same device with some upgrades as time goes on and still keep up with game requirements.
PCs are also able to handle more storage and more powerful components. This means that a PC game has the potential to be bigger and offer a lot better graphics than mobile or console games.
There’s also the better option for customization to specific playstyles, such as the option on what kind of controls you use, where you play, and your various graphics, speed, and visual settings.
While consoles and mobile devices are starting to catch up, most hardcore gamers understand that the PC is still the winner when it comes to the best options for game quality and computing power.
This means that there are gamers out there who will always pick PC games over console or mobile games, even if they are the exact same game.
PC games also allow for more creativity and a wider audience than other games, which makes them preferable to developers. When you have mobile games, you have to choose whether you adapt your game to both Google Play and Apple App Store or just one or the other.
With Console games, you either have to make your game adaptable to various consoles and their requirements, or stay exclusive on one console.
This severely limits your audience. A computer game works for almost any computer user and even some laptop users. Nowadays, with mobile work and school, many people already have computers, so developers already have a wide audience that doesn’t have to buy anything special to play their games.
With the power that computers offer over other games, this means developers can give themselves a little leeway. They don’t have to sacrifice quality or details and can go all out with their games to create a big game full of interesting stories and gameplay while still being absolutely beautiful.
PC Games Revenue
But what does the revenue for PC games actually look like? The beginning of this article already explained that PC games have made somewhere near USD 35 billion over the last few years, and the number is increasing.
As you can see, this is a lot lower than console games, which have made somewhere between USD 45 and 50 billion. Mobile games, on the other hand, have been on top for the last several years.
However, from 2020 to 2021, the market had a massive increase. It went from around USD 70 or 75 billion in 2019 and 2020 to a whopping USD 93 billion in 2021.
It’s also worth noting that although it’s not super easy to get multiple streams of revenue from a PC game, it’s still entirely possible. As shown in the graphs below, PC games are right up there with console games when it comes to revenue per paying user. In fact, PCs actually win out in money per user.
When you start to look at individual game categories, you see that while PC games don’t win against consoles when it comes to adventure games, most people tend to enjoy PCs more for battle royale games. These are games like Apex Legends, PUBG, and Call of Duty: Warzone.
What’s interesting about these battle royale games on the PC is that generally, they are free. So for PCs to make so much money off of free games is rather impressive.
There are no subscription services to allow you to play online. Instead, most of the time, the money comes from paying to enter certain competitions or to get cosmetics.
PC Games Retention
One way PC games and console games stand out from mobile games is their retention. With mobile games, you’re lucky if someone continues to play the same game for a week or longer. With console and PC games, you have a lot higher retention.
This is in part due to the investment. PC and console games generally cost a lot of money, somewhere around $60 to $70 on average.
Because of this, people are only willing to pay for games that are going to provide a fair return on investment. PC and console games have to be larger with longer adventures to make up for the price difference.
Most of these games also need a lot of replayability. On the other hand, mobile games tend to stay simple and implement levels that are very similar with slight changes in difficulty.
Mobile games usually only require someone to spend a few minutes a day playing a game while PC games take a much higher time investment per day. Or, at least, that’s the idea.
While people tend to say they don’t have enough time to play PC games because of work, that doesn’t stop many people from playing games on their phones.
|Reasons why PC gamers don’t play as many games||Percentage|
|No data or computer access||56%|
In fact, people tend to play close to 10 hours a week on their phones, while only investing 7.5 hours on PC games. Part of this may be mental, where games on the PC seem like you have to sit down and play longer, whereas mobile games can be played for any length of time.
Additionally, mobile games can be played from anywhere, such as during a work break, while standing in line, or even while in the bathroom. On the other hand, you must have your PC with you to play. This limits when and where you can play PC games.
Depending on the game as well, individual sessions often take longer on the PC. Missions or tasks may take a long time, or there may be big gaps between when you can save. For most mobile games, it’s easy enough to pause or shut down the app at any time without losing any progress.
|Gaming Platform||Average weekly playtime|
|Nintendo Switch||6.4 hours|
|2021||132 million||106.6 million||46 million|
|2020||120 million||111.25 million||n/a|
It’s worth noting that while the table above does provide valuable information it is lacking. The table above clearly shows that compared to console games, there are many more PC game players per month. However, this is only counting players on Steam.
Related Article: Puzzle Games Stats
Steam is one of the biggest PC gaming distribution services for PCs, but it isn’t the only one. Epic and Shotcall are also big distribution platforms. There is also the option to play PC games without using a distribution center. So the number of actual PC gamers is likely much higher than the numbers provided above.
|Type of PC gamer||Average time they’ve been playing PC games|
|Casual customizer||24 years|
The retention rate of individual PC games is not very easy to calculate. Some games are designed for a lot of replayability or have large campaigns and lots of online features to keep people going.
However, there are also short, story-like games that really only allow for one play-through and don’t require a lot of time investment to finish.
Most PC gamers are dedicated to PC games. Some gamers have been playing PC games for over 24 years. Even the type of PC gamer with the lowest number of years still has an average of nine years they’ve spent playing PC games.
This means, as a whole, PC gamers are always willing and ready to try a new game. They’ve been playing PC games for years and are looking for games similar to their favorite or to break from the mold and find something new.
This leads to a whole group of gamers that are eager and waiting for your next game to come out.
PC Games Target Audience
Like most other games, the number of PC gamers is steadily increasing every year. The growth has slowed down a little since the global pandemic lifted, but the industry is still seeing more and more PC gamers every year and the growth is expected to continue.
When looking at the target PC audience, North America is actually one of the best places to target. There are fewer players as a whole than in some other countries, but a majority of people in the country are PC gamers vs. other types of gamers. Europe is another great region.
Asian countries have the largest number of PC gamers as a whole, but many gamers in Asian countries are mobile game players, which means that PC gamers make up less than half of the total number of gamers.
|World region||Number of PC gamers||Number of All Gamers||Share of PC gamers compared to all gamers|
|Asia||687.6 million||1417.2 million||48.5%|
|Europe||468.4 million||667.8 million||70.1%|
|Latin America||258.7 million||382.8 million||67.6%|
|North America||203.2 million||261.3 million||77.8%|
|MENA||62.3 million||161.6 million||38.5%|
|Sub-Sahara Africa||47.3 million||134.3 million||35.2%|
|Oceania||20.7 million||35.6 million||58.1%|
There’s a reason that mobile games are growing in popularity. Globally, many people prefer to play on their phones than anywhere else, even enthusiastic gamers. What you want to focus on from this table below, though, is the difference in PC games online vs. offline.
For the most part, people prefer online PC games that allow them to connect to other players than simple offline PC games.
|Gamer type||Prefer playing on mobile||Consoles||PC online||PC offline|
|Gamer (in general)||72%||41%||29%||20%|
Another demographic you want to consider is age. Each age has a different preference for what kind of games they prefer playing and on what kind of devices. As you can see from the graphs below, the main target age for PC games, whether offline or online, is between 18 and 34 years old.
Specifically, Millennials are the age group that plays PC the most, though Gen Z and Gen X are pretty close on their heels. This shows that although mobile games are growing, there is always a steady and constant demand for PC games, which is why so many developers still focus on making PC games.
|Gamer age||Prefer playing on mobile||Consoles||PC online||PC offline|
|Age generation||Percent of PC gamers in generation|
|Gen Z (age 10-22)||51%|
|Millennials (age 23-38)||56%|
|Gen X (age 39-50)||51%|