Over at IGN, they have up the expected “PC Year In Review”. And while this was a good year for PC releases, they also point out a rather unsettling fact: the games don’t seem to be selling in big numbers.

According to NPD data, the biggest seller was WoW’s Burning Crusade, the only product to go over a million copies, and WoW itself sold a half-million. The other releases this year showed much lower figures.

Of course, Ign points out that there are no reliable numbers for games purchased by download, such as via Valve/Steam. But they find the lack of sales in the PC area disturbing, especially given the acclaim for many of the products, for instance, Bioshock, which is in the 100K range.

On the other hand, console titles tend to sell like wildfire, even when they don’t have Microsoft’s muscle behind them, as with Halo 3. Ign speculates that perhaps the day of the “A-title for the PC first” may be ending. And that, in the future, it may become the “hand-me-down” platform, waiting for ports of popular games from the consoles.

That may well be the case in the future. We all know how expensive it’s become to make one of those “A” games, and it seems that the sales are not up there for them now.

After all, if a company can invest money in a console title and sell far more than on the PC, it only makes sense to develop for the Xbox or Wii or PS3 first. And a port would likely be much less expensive than a complete development cycle.

No one’s suggesting that the PC is a “dying system”. For one thing, there are plenty of casual games (and gamers) out there, and likely more to come in the time ahead. But the “A games” are mainly for the hardcore gamer, who has the necessary rig to run them. And that market, while loyal, may be shrinking to the point where new development is no longer feasible.

So I wonder: if/when that happens, will the vacuum created be filled by the indie games? Will gamers, looking (or waiting) for new product, turn to the independents for their “fix”?

Or will they just go online and play WoW or some other MMOG? The next year or so is likely to be interesting.

PC Year In Review on Ign