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PC gaming revenue grew in 2009 as retail PC game sales shrank

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Despite fears about the languishing PC game industry, revenue seems to have grown a bit in 2009. According to PC Gaming Alliance's Horizons Report, revenue hit $13.1 billion in 2009, versus $11 billion in 2008.

Don't expect that growth to translate to increased shelf space for PC games, however. The report notes that digital distribution sales are way up, as are the sales of virtual items. "In 2009 we saw North America and Europe experience a rapid uptake in purchasing virtual items," PCGA president Randy Stude said. "This model is what drove growth in Asia and we think it is just starting to come to Western markets."

As expected, given the rise in digital distribution, packaged game sales have dropped for a second year, now accounting for just 20 percent of PC game revenue. It appears that PC games are going to go all digital unless we start seeing some really awesome cloth maps.

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