The old year has passed by us now, that would be 2013 for those not keeping track, and now the gaming analysts are setting their sights on exactly how they think that the PC gaming market will perform in 2014. It's a pretty foregone conclusion that PC gaming is dead. Wait! That must have been a Freudian slip, I meant to say PC gaming is doing very well, it's just that no one can seem to pin down exactly how well it will do in the coming year. Let's take a look at some of the numbers that the people who get paid to try and forecast these things are putting out, and then see what you think. In a recent chat with GamesIndustry, research firm DFC Intelligence has given them their projections in advance of their filing a brief on the matter. They state that they forecast substantial growth across all platforms, but have now raised their initial estimates for the global PC gaming market from $22 billion to $25 billion dollars for 2014. They state that the Asian market is a large contributing factor, but surprisingly, the West showed an increase from 2012 to 2013, and they are forecasting 2014 to show good growth as well. Last October, Gartner published a report that estimates the worldwide PC market for 2014 to be in the range of about $20 billion and a longer projection for 2015 at a little over $21 million. This is still in the ballpark of the DFC report, and given it was compiled about three months earlier may account for the variation in numbers for 2014 considering sales for big games in the last three months of 2013. While the numbers for all segments were not available from DFC yet, Gartner pegs the 2014 total gaming market at over $101 billion. Back in May of last year, Microsoft dropped some numbers in their analysis as well. They showed a worldwide spend of $65 billion, with a PC gaming share of $12 billion. Given that this was approximately a half-year snapshot, if you do a little projection it still falls in line with a $20 billion plus PC market for 2014. There is no argument that the growth in overall gaming revenue is substantial, and appears to be outpacing all other forms of revenue growth in other entertainment vectors (i.e. film, music, radio), but what exactly is spurring the growth of the PC gaming market? It's certainly not PC exclusive AAA games as there have been … well, none. There are only the indie, or niche, markets that cater exclusively to PCs. While the indie market is going extremely well and will continue to flourish, it does not generate the revenue that the big name AAA, multi-platform titles do by a long shot. Some are positing that the new consoles are playing a big part in the upward trend of the PC market. With many of the games making a truckload of money in the console space, and with the fact that many games are being released for both consoles and PCs, AND allowing cross-platform play, that this is fueling the upsurge in the market. Another is that as the technology of PCs marches onward, we are seeing lower cost PCs that are able to play more games than their counterparts just a couple of years ago. Tie this with the fact that developers are doing their best to optimize the games, in various ways, to run on less than enthusiast level PCs in order to garner a greater market in which to sell their products, and you now bring in millions of PC owners purchasing games that were unplayable for them before. Thirdly, there is more information coming out as to the levels of the sales of PC games on digital distribution services than there was in the past. With the rapidly declining retail (boxed) sales of games, which is most of the numbers that we have seen in the past to indicate the health of the PC gaming market, it sheds new light on how well it's going. With the continued rise in the popularity of services like Steam, this comes as no real surprise, but given that people can now download games on virtually any platform it does not seem like it would be the definitive factor in the growth of the PC segment. So, PC gaming, as always, is doing just fine. But inquiring minds want to know what YOU think are the factors in fueling the upswing in the PC gaming market and how far will it go in 2014. Feel free to join in the discussion at any time.