Over the years since I switched to the awesome Linux operating system, I have so many times read posts from Windows fan boys and gaming companies say that the Linux market share is just to low but does any of them ever take the time to stop and realize just how many possible customers they are ignoring? My guess is no which is why I decided to do some calculations based on recent statistics found on the Internet.
First I found the site Geo Hive that gave me population totals by continent. The latest they have is 2013.
Africa – 1,110,635,062
Asia – 4,298,723,288
Europe – 742,452,170
Latin America & Caribbean – 616,644,503
North America – 355,360,791
Oceania – 38,303,620
Next I searched for numbers on what percentage are gamers. For continents that I could not find actual percentage for PC gaming, I used 25%.
Africa – 555,317,531 (20% according to MGAfrica for 2012)
Asia – 2,149,361,644 (16% according to 2013 Niko Partners report)
Europe – 230,160,173 (31% according to 2012 Consumer Study)
Latin America & Caribbean – 154,161,126
North America – 177,680,396 (58% according to 2013 ESA and ESAC reports)
Oceania – 19,151,810
This next calculation I did was how many were console gamers and how many were PC gamers. For continents that I could not find actual percentage for PC gaming, I used 25%.
Africa – 277,658,766
Asia – 1,074,680,822 (73% according to 2013 Niko Partners report)
Europe – 88,899,367 (38.625% according to 2012 Consumer Study)
Latin America & Caribbean – 77,080,563
North America – 88,840,198 (49.5% according to 2013 ESA and ESAC reports)
Oceania – 9,575,905
Below are the usage numbers from Stat Counter back on June 9, 2015.
Africa – 0.91%
Asia – 1.19%
Europe – 2.42%
Latin America & Caribbean – 1.97%
North America – 2.59%
Oceania – 1.23%
So if we now take the numbers after removing the non gamers and console gamers then multiple it by the usage share percentage of June 9, 2015, we get the following values representing gamers using Linux.
Africa – 505,339
Asia – 5,974,881
Europe – 2,151,365
Latin America & Caribbean – 759,244
North America – 2,574,085
Oceania – 29,446
If we add those values up, we get a grand total of 11,994,360 possible gamers being ignored by most of the top game development companies. So what does this equal to in missed revenue? Well if we look at Blizzard who is probably one of the most popular gaming companies for the PC, their World of Warcraft membership of $15/month would equal $179,915,396. Now of course Blizzard did recently bring out the new WoW Token system where people can play for free IF they can earn enough in game gold but I am sure you will agree that it does shed more light on the possible revenue companies are missing out on by not supporting Linux. Let us not also forget the games that retail around the average $60 mark. When you multiply that by the above number you get $719,661,600.
There are also many gaming engines these days that are cross platform meaning that creating a game for all three PC operating systems is easier than ever.
Another piece of information gaming developers need to realize about Linux gamers, when we see an error in game, we don’t bog down their forums and e-mail support system with rants of how their product doesn’t work without any detailed information. Linux gamers are more mature and therefore will not only provide details of the error but with so many of them also developers themselves, a suggested fix will usually be provided as well. This of course makes supporting Linux PC so much easier than Windows PC.
I would also like to add that North America did reach 3.14% on May 30, 2015, for what reason is anyone guess but I like to believe more people switched to Linux but had trouble running their favourite game through W.I.N.E. and decided to venture back to Windows. This is why native Linux support is a must.
Linux share WILL increase once the big boys like Blizzard, EA and others finally show Linux the same love that we have shown them over the years.