Browser games to make up 15% of PC gaming 2017 revenues

PC gaming isn't just about high-end enthusiast desktop game--the segment owes a nice chunk of its yearly earnings to social and browser-based games.

Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 6:15 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:55 AM CST

PC gaming owes a portion of its yearly global revenues to browser-based games like Runescape and Drakensang Online.

Browser games to make up 15% of PC gaming 2017 revenues |

The PC gaming segment isn't just about high-end 4K visuals, thread-ripping CPUs and the most powerful video cards--it has an accessible side to it where anyone can jump in and play even with older laptops and hardware. The PC browser market is filled with free-to-play games with freemium-style microtransactions that earn quite a bit of revenue every year.

According to Newzoo's latest 2017 global games market report, browser-based gaming will rake in $4.5 billion in 2017, down 9.3% year-over-year. Since PC gaming is forecasted to make $29.4 billion in total revenues, PC browser games will be responsible of 15.3% of the segment's total earnings.

Traditional digital and boxed PC games are to make $29.4 billion in 2017, down 1.3% year-over-year, compared to console gaming's $33.5 billion, which is up 3.6% year-over-year.

Console gaming is expected to make up 31% of total game sales revenues in 2017, versus PC gaming's 27%.

This is likely attributed to the influx of new titles to be released throughout 2017 including Call of Duty WWII, Destiny 2, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Assassin's Creed: Origins onto the console market's massive install base. Sony recently confirmed that it's sold more than 60 million PlayStation 4 consoles, and reports indicate Microsoft may have sold as many as 39 million Xbox One units to date.

According to Newzoo, consoles are to generate $8.7 billion more than traditional boxed and digital PC games, and $4.1 billion more than the PC gaming's total segment.

Compared to total games revenue earnings for 2017, however, PC browser-based games only make up 4% of revenues. The report also forecasts that digital games revenues will make up 84% of the market at $94.4 billion of the total $108.9 billion projected to be earned in 2017's game sales.

By 2020, Newzoo predicts that PC game sales will shrink to 22% of the overall yearly games sales, with browser-based PC games and boxed/digital PC games dropping to 3% and 19% of global sales revenue respectively.


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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