The NPD Group has just released the first batch of results from its first survey of digital distribution sales, revealing that close to half of all PC game sales now take place online within the US.
The NPD Group collates information about game sales but, until today, has only collected receipts from retail stores. The group now estimates that around 48 percent of all PC games are sold through digital distributors like Steam.
The figures mean that previously announced sales figures have not fully reflected the state of the PC games market, having a margin of error as large as 21.3 million units.
NPD has revealed the top five digital distributors of PC games that are also available at retail (i.e. not casual games portals). The list (below) makes for interesting reading, especially since the number #5 slot is a distributor which really only sells one game...
The new statistics definitely raise concerns that the digital market is being monopolised by Valve and Blizzard, especially with GamersGate and Impulse being notably absent from the above list. On the plus side, the announcement does paint the PC games market in a much better light than some might have assumed.
Let us know your thoughts in the forums