NPD: Downloads eclipse retail on PC

NPD reports that downloadable game sales have officially outpaced retail sales on the PC.. For the first six months of 2010, retail PC sales in the US reached 8.2 million units, while NPD surveys indicate that downloads were up to 11.2 million. Take special note of the word "surveys," as gamesindustry.biz confirmed that NPD doesn't have access to sales numbers from either Blizzard or Steam. Still, NPD believes that overall PC revenues have declined 21 percent so far this year, with unit sales down 14 percent.

Meanwhile, NPD's surveys name Steam as the most successful download service, while BigFish dominates casual gaming. NPD's Anita Frazier pointed to the rise of "social network gaming" and more "free game options" as the reasons for the PC sector's continuing decline. Maybe someone at NPD should get in touch with the folks at Zynga. They might be able to them where all that money went.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.