Ever since the first home computers were introduced between the 1970s and 1980s, people were already playing video games using specialized devices and arcade machines. Eventually, video games became part of the PC ecosystem thanks to the modernization of technology and computer hardware.
Nearing the end of 2023, around half a century later, how many PC games are now available for us to play today?
Although it’s almost impossible to identify every PC game that’s been sold to consumers for the past fifty years or so, we can use Valve’s popular video game distribution platform, Steam, to gauge a rough estimate.
According to Statista, there have been around 72,312 PC games sold on Steam alone, and this isn’t including exclusive titles available from other digital stores, such as Epic Games Store.
That’s a huge amount to dig into, especially if we’re interested in free-to-play (F2P) titles or dedicated online games only. Still, it does prove that regardless of how many games we can complete in just a few hours/ days, there’s always another we can look forward to, particularly when more are expected to be released in 2024.
How Many PC Games Are Released Every Year?
Benefitting from the latest video game tech and systems, more and more games are continuously being released for the PC. With that in mind, how many new PC games can we expect to see every year?
Referring to the same Steam data compiled by Statista, we can safely expect more than 9,000 new PC games yearly, beginning in 2024. This is evidenced by the statistical upward trend of games being released on Steam year after year, not including other digital distributors yet.
Besides multiple upcoming triple-A (AAA) projects that are already in the pipeline, a majority of the new games released will be dominated by indie-developed titles due to the plethora of video game development tools easily accessible today.
That’s not to say indie game development is a cakewalk, though, because it isn’t. However, the barrier for entry is now more lenient than ever before, with some game studios even publishing games under their own umbrella these days.
Another possible reason why the PC gaming market seems oversaturated is because of the various numbers of sports games introduced on a yearly basis, most notably soccer, basketball, and baseball games.
Nevertheless, as a PC gamer myself, more competition usually leads to better game quality, so I say the more, the merrier!
Are Mac Games Considered PC Games?
When it comes to video games, PC is amongst the major platforms for developers to plan their projects around, with the others being consoles – such as Xbox Series X – and mobile devices. In terms of Mac games, are they considered PC games too?
No, Mac games aren’t the same as PC games because Mac utilizes a different operating system (OS) than home computers (normally, Microsoft Windows). This means that Mac-exclusive games, primarily old-school ones like Pathways into Darkness, can’t be played on gaming PCs.
That being said, many game developers understand that the Apple user base also has its fair share of passionate video gamers, so most PC games have their own Mac-supported versions for purchasing/ downloading as well.
Still, many of the most celebrated franchises, such as Bandai Namco’s fighting game intellectual property (IP), Tekken, can’t be played on macOS, which is a huge let-down. So, for many Mac users, it’s either buying a proper gaming PC/ console to play their favorite video games, or indulging in free online browser games instead.
Are There More Games on PC or Consoles?
On the topic of video games, many of us would typically recommend buying either a PlayStation (PS) or Xbox console instead of a gaming PC, due to their plug-and-play setup and cheaper investment. But, which has a more expansive video game catalog for us to choose from?
Universally, many more diverse games (of different genres) can be played on the PC, while more exclusive releases are secured for gaming consoles instead. For instance, we can play real-time strategy (RTS) games on the PC, but almost all God of War games can only be played on PS consoles (except for 2018’s God of War).
Nonetheless, cross-play support is becoming more mainstream nowadays, meaning next-gen games could potentially be played on both PCs and consoles in the coming few years.
In fact, many PC games are now compatible with console gamepads as well, such as the PS5 controller. So, regardless of which gaming platform we’re siding with, the gap between every side is slowly being reduced moving forward.