Intent by Brand-SDEC. 8, 2014 • According to a major international survey released by DFC Intelligence in conjunction with Raptr, Inc., PC gamers are no strangers to buying premium hardware brands. The recently conducted survey involved nearly 14,000 core PC gamers from 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 and possess a strong intent to purchase, which is in line with the growth trends for PC game hardware and accessories that DFC has been tracking for more than a decade.

Despite talk about the decline in mid-range PC system sales, there is a core group of about 85 million computer gamers across Europe, North America and South America who 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.

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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.

Some key findings from the survey include:

•  Over 90% of respondents played games on desktop PCs
•  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

PC gamers are very aware of the top PC hardware brands. Leading PC brands such as AMD, Nvidia, Radeon, Corsair and Logitech showed ownership/purchase intent levels of over 50% in the survey. The emergence of the PC as a hobbyist market is something DFC has been tracking for several years now. 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. In good news for the industry, PC gamers are fairly young and are only going to grow in number and spending power.

Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory from Corsair Components, one of the premium brands identified in the survey.
Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory from Corsair Components, one of the premium brands identified in the survey.

The international survey focused on identifying the core of the PC game market via online surveys completed by 14,046 members from Raptr’s 35 million-strong community of gamers between October 30 and November 3, 2014. Of those respondents, 13,998 of them qualified as core gamers based on playing games on at least two different devices, including a computer.  Reflecting the relative youth of the market, 77% of respondents were under the age of 34 and 96% of respondents were male.


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