Well, physical game discs, it was a good game. You fought hard and had a nice, long reign, but now you’re relics -- destined to be excavated millennia from now and presented as evidence of our time period’s ingenious developments in Frisbee technology. Hear that? That’s the fat lady singing. She’s belting along to the tune of 11.2 million units, which is how many the digital market moved during the first half of 2010. Retail, meanwhile, went down swinging with 8.2 million.
Note, however, that NPD – who presented the report – doesn’t have access to Steam or Blizzard’s sales data. Instead, "weighted and projected" surveys provided a portion of the data, which were – at the very least – accurate in so far as Steam came in first by so many thousands of miles that most of its competitors were technically on another planet.
Direct2Drive, EA, Worldofwarcraft.com, and Blizzard.com rounded out the top five, which sounds about right to us, although we’d still like to see some hard numbers to back it up. Overall, however, NPD saw a 21 percent decline in traditional PC game sales, the blame for which it placed squarely on the shoulders of the already massive casual and free-to-play games market.
So basically, the PC gaming market is like an incredibly unstable dictatorship. One day, someone’s on top, but the next, they’re mysteriously found dead – the cause of death being a far less mysterious knife between their ribs. Then someone else takes over, and the cycle begins anew. Word is, they’re already making an HBO drama about it. And by “word,” we mean we’ve got a cheapo video camera and are willing to pay in whatever you can steal while our roommates aren’t looking.