DFC Intelligence/Raptr Survey Forecasts PC Gaming Hardware as Major Growth Area

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Study Indicates Core PC Gamers Are Buying Premium Hardware Brands

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There is a core group of about 85 million computer gamers across Europe and North and South America. These consumers are spending more on PC hardware, which is driving a major growth area for the PC business.

Market research firm DFC Intelligence released results from a major survey of core PC gamers conducted in conjunction with Raptr, a leading online service for PC gamers. The survey involved nearly 14,000 core PC gamers around the world, more than three quarters of whom reside outside North America. One of the key findings of the survey was that PC gamers prefer to use premium hardware, which is in line with the growth of PC hardware and accessories that DFC has been tracking for more than a decade. Additional survey findings are available here.

“There has been a great deal of talk about the decline in PC system sales,” said DFC Intelligence CEO David Cole. “However, there is a core group of about 85 million computer gamers across Europe and North and South America. These consumers are spending more on PC hardware, which is driving a major growth area for the PC business. The latest DFC forecasts indicate that PC game software will generate $27 billion in revenue in 2014. The spending by gamers on PC hardware is harder to estimate but it is substantially more than the spending on software.”

The survey focused on identifying the core of the PC game market by using Raptr’s 35 million-strong community of gamers. “Our goal is to take the pulse of the top tier of the gamer audience on a regular basis,” said Dennis Fong, co-founder and CEO of Raptr and a diehard gamer of more than 20 years. “These core gaming consumers not only drive a huge amount of sales; they are the major influence on the second- and third-tier gamers who make up the rest of the overall video games consumer base.”

Focused on Europe and the Americas, 60% of survey respondents were in Europe, Australia and New Zealand; 24% in North America; and 7% in South America. The survey asked multiple questions about software usage and habits but some of the most surprising findings were in the ownership and awareness of premium hardware brands. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they play with a gaming headset, with top-tier headset brands such as Sennheiser and Turtle Beach showing surprisingly high levels of ownership considering they command a premium price.

PC gamers are very aware of the top PC hardware brands. Leading PC brands like AMD, Nvidia, Radeon, Corsair, and Logitech showed ownership/purchase intent levels of over 50% in the survey. “We have been watching the emergence of the PC as a hobbyist market for several years now,” said Cole. “As gamers get into their 20s and 30s spending on PC hardware becomes a status symbol much like having a fancy car or stereo system was to past generations. The good news is that PC gamers are still fairly young and they are only going to grow in number and spending power.”

Some other key findings from the survey include:

  •     Over 90% of respondents played games on a desktop computer
  •     30% of respondents played games on a laptop computer
  •     43% played games on a smartphone
  •     20% played games on a tablet
  •     64% of respondents were between the ages of 18-34

Survey Methodology

This international research was conducted among Raptr users between October 30 and November 3, 2014. The results are based on 14,046 online surveys completed by members of the Raptr community of PC and video game players worldwide; 13,998 respondents qualified as core gamers based on playing games on at least two different devices, including a computer. 96% of respondents were male; reflecting the relative youth of the market, 77% of respondents were under the age of 34.

About Raptr

Raptr is one of the fastest-growing PC gaming services in the world. The Raptr software, which is entirely free, is designed to make PC gaming consistently awesome. The software enables gamers to get the best performance possible out of their rigs and games by automatically optimizing their game settings, enabling video capture and streaming in a simple and resource-efficient way, keeping drivers up to date, and offering intra-game communication across thousands of games. Raptr has tens of millions of users in dozens of countries, and attracts nearly two million new sign-ups each month. The company is led by CEO and co-founder Dennis Fong (co-founder of Xfire, Lithium, and Gamers.com). Raptr was founded in 2007 and is backed by investors Accel Partners, Founder’s Fund, DAG Ventures, and Tenaya Capital. For more information about Raptr, please visit http://raptr.com and/or follow @Raptr.

About DFC

DFC Intelligence (http://www.dfcint.com) is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets. Since 1995, DFC has published in-depth strategic market reports and subscription-based research services. DFC research is used by more than 300 leading companies in over 30 countries worldwide.

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