Mobile Games Industry Worth US$ 11.2 Billion by 2010

19th May, 2005

Europe : Total global revenues from mobile games are forecast to increase from USD 2.6 billion this year to USD 11.2 billion by 2010, according to Mobile Games, a new strategic research report from Informa Telecoms and Media.

Downloads will account for around two-thirds of total global revenues through 2010, but online multiplayer traffic will start to generate significant income for mobile operators, as cellcos launch more multiplayer games and introduce community features that will encourage user uptake. By 2010, online multiplayer games will generate 20.5 percent of total global revenues.

"The Asia-Pacific and Europe will continue to dominate the global mobile gaming market in terms of revenues and users," says Pamela Clark-Dickson, co-author of the report, and editor of continuous research service Mobile Games Analyst, published by Informa Telecoms and Media. "However the U.S. is set to become the second largest individual market by revenues and users, behind Japan and China respectively, by 2010."

Meanwhile the mobile games industry still has work to do to encourage mass-market adoption of mobile games. This year, just 6.7 percent of all mobile subscribers globally will download and play a mobile game, rising to 15.2 percent by 2010.

"The cellcos' strategy of targeting hardcore gamers was the right thing to do when the market was in its early adopter phase," says Stuart Dredge, co-author of Mobile Games and reporter at Mobile Games Analyst. "But now what the market needs is mass-market take-up, which means that the mobile games industry has to provide games that will encourage more casual users to play."

Merger and acquisition activity is thinning out the mobile games market, especially in the games development and publishing sectors. The race is on to acquire the smaller mobile games companies whose survival to date has relied on the production and distribution of good quality games based on desirable licenses, but which haven't been able to scale their operations.

"Previously consolidation occurred mainly among mobile games companies but recent acquisitions and investments by vendors such as RealNetworks and Cisco Systems attest to a growing interest in this sector from the wider digital media and information technology industry," says Clark-Dickson.

Mobile games companies will also likely embark on brand-building and consumer marketing activities during 2005, as they launch their own direct-to-consumer offerings, and seek to build the profile of mobile gaming in the marketplace.

While the cellcos' decks will continue to be the primary source of games for mobile users, games companies have also started distributing their titles through third-party content portals and through bricks-and-mortar retailers.

"Multimedia memory cards will become an increasingly important games delivery mechanism at retail, particularly for 3D and feature-rich 2D titles," says Dredge. MMCs will contribute 9.1 percent of total global revenues for mobile games by 2010.

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