Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Global Mobile Gaming Reaches $3.6Bn

Research from entertainment analyst firm Understanding & Solutions reveals a stronger growth rate in mobile gaming than in console and handheld markets, albeit coming from a smaller market share. This places mobile in second position behind the online games market.

"Global revenues from mobile gaming are pegged at $3.6 billion this year," says Understanding & Solutions Analyst, David Rouse, "and we predict this figure to rise to $6.0 billion by 2011. Although not seen as the killer application for mobile, games are increasingly important as the market continues to see major growth."

Going forward, technological and infrastructure developments will allow consumer's gaming behavior to evolve, thus opening up new business model possibilities. This, coupled with strong growth forecasts in the mid term, is leading to fierce competition in the sector and is impacting upon publishers, network operators, developers and IP owners alike.

"Subscription based and ad-funded models are on the rise," continues Rouse, "and micro transactions -- the acquisition of additional levels or virtual goods during game play -- are also beginning to play a part. However, pay per download is still the most significant revenue generator across all regions."

At the same time, an increasing number of traditional content owners are moving into the mobile games space, either by setting up their own mobile games subsidiaries like EA mobile and THQ wireless,or by licensing out content (Sega, Konami, MGM, Universal, Warner). Conversely, existing players in the marketplace are consolidating through mergers and acquisitions.

Looking to emerging markets, particularly China and India, the segment is driven by snowballing mobile phone take-up rates; however, due to comparably low prices, Asia -- excluding Korea and Japan -- is still expected to account for less than 10 percent of global revenues in 2011.