Posted on 18/03/2011

Retail and digital video game software sales over $33 billion in 2010

March 18, 2010 -
VGChartz Ltd, a business intelligence and research firm for retail video game purchases, and Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC (FADE), a research firm tracking digitally distributed content, have teamed up to total the number of games purchased as discs, cartridges, and digital downloads during 2010. Retail and digital figures for tracked markets, seen below, came to over $33 billion in 2010, on over 3.2 billion game purchases. Overall, digital download revenues in 2010 totaled $2.5 billion representing 7.6% of the market total – a figure expected to increase significantly over the next few years. In terms of unit sales, digital platforms (in particular Apple) are already dominating with only just over 20% of unit sales on Nintendo's Wii & DS, Sony's Playstation 3 (PS3), Playstation Portable (PSP) & Playstation 2 (PS2), and Microsoft's Xbox 360 (X360). Valve's Steam service took almost $1 billion in revenue in 2010 and is quickly approaching the size of some declining retail markets. With the remaining PC digital markets estimated at around $250 million in 2010, Steam dominates with nearly 80% of the overall PC digital market.

World Software in 2010 Revenue (USD, Millions) Units (Millions)
Playstation 3 (Retail) $7,293 147
Xbox 360 (Retail) $7,242 150
Wii (Retail) $6,830 186
PC (Retail) $5,000 n/a
Nintendo DS (Retail) $2,562 129
Playstation Portable (Retail) $1,016 45
Steam (PC DD) $910 85
Playstation 2 (Retail) $756 19
iOS Devices (DD) $749 1905
Downloadable Content X360 / PS3 $300 n/a
Non-Steam Digital Download PC $250 n/a
Xbox Live Arcade (DD) $135 17
Playstation Network (DD) $90
WiiWare & Virtual Console (DD) $86 12
Android (DD) $16 465
Blackberry (DD) $8 54
Windows Mobile (DD) $7 13

Based on the combined FADE and VGChartz data, Wii software revenue was 98.7% retail and 1.3% digital. That compares to 97.1% for PS3 when DLC and PSN are combined for PS3, and about 96.3% for X360. The PSP and DSi digital markets represent a similar proportion of total revenue as their home console counterparts. Digital markets in 2010 were completely dominated by Apple on a unit basis for games, and Steam on a revenue basis according to FADE research. Nonetheless, VGChartz and FADE expect digital markets to continue to grow on dedicated game machines in 2011 and the pure digital markets, iOS, Android, Steam will continue to expand.

For more information on retail top sellers, visit For more information on digital markets, including monthly top-sellers, please visit

About VGChartz, Ltd

Founded in 2005 by Brett Walton, VGChartz (Video Game Charts) is a business intelligence and research firm and publisher of the VGChartz Network of gaming websites. As an industry research firm, VGChartz publishes over 7,000 unique estimates per week relating to worldwide game hardware and software sales and hosts an ever-expanding game database with over 40,000 titles listed and 1.5 million unique data points. The VGChartz Network is made up of the VGChartz, gamrFeed, gamrReview, gamrTV and gamrConnect brands and provide consumers with a range of content from news and features to reviews to social networking and community features.

About Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment, LLC
FADE is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on electronic entertainment and the emerging download and mobile game markets. With very little information currently available in these markets, FADE allows smaller developers to investigate these new potential sources of revenue and make informed business decisions moving forward. Currently, FADE produces monthly and annual reports for Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, WiiWare & Virtual Console, and mobile markets including iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. For more information, please visit

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