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Mobile and social to drive gaming growth

by Scott Bicheno on 5 July 2011, 15:35

Tags: Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Games without frontiers

Total global spend on gaming is set to reach $112 billion by 2015 - almost double the 2010 figure of $67 billion. But within that double figure growth there's a shift underway in the type of products bought that runs parallel to changes in the way people use technology.

Within the gaming software market the biggest growth opportunity comes from mobile, with its share of all games growing from 15 percent last year to 20 percent in 2015.

"As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, gaming will remain a key component in the use of these devices. Although they are never used primarily for gaming, mobile games are the most downloaded application category across most application stores," said Tuong Nguyen of Gartner. "For this reason, mobile gaming will continue to thrive as more consumers expand their use of new and innovative portable connected devices."

But while a lot of mobile games will be downloaded, they tend to sell for a fraction of the cost of a console or PC game, if they charge at all, so revenue might be a bit harder to come by.

While console gaming is the biggest contributor to gaming revenue - accounting for two thirds - the console games market faces increasing competition from online and social gaming. Online, apparently, is increasingly moving to the ‘freemium' model where the game is played for free and then revenue is generated through advertising and in-game transactions. This is heavily influenced by the rise of social games such as Farmville.

"Users have become multichannel-oriented by choice and expect vendors to continue to deliver quality content and experiences by extending their gaming possibilities across multiple platforms," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. "If today's mobile technology does not evolve quickly enough, the gaming industry is set to see the rate of innovation severely decline. Alternatively, it will provide opportunities in technology and content genres that we can't foresee today."


Total Gaming Market Spending, 2010-2015 (Millions of Dollars)





Gaming Hardware




Gaming Software




Online Gaming








Source: Gartner (June 2011)

HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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“the biggest growth opportunity comes from mobile”

Yup, small buttons and PS1 graphics really make mobile gaming worthwhile!
if by driving, you mean weighing down the bandwagon with metric tons of horse manure, then yes.
While console gaming is the biggest contributor to gaming revenue - accounting for two thirds - the console games market faces increasing competition from online and social gaming.
Question - isn't “normal” PSN/XBL gaming “online/social” (the latter especially if you're not on 1-v-1 deathmatch)?

Anyway, I'm not convinced that something on iPhone/Android is going to compete with most of the PS3/XB360 content out there. On the other hand, they're surely going to cut (severely?) into the market for PSP/DS and possibly even the Wii? Heck, that dual screen tablet (S2) from Sony even looks like a DS! I ditched my PSP a while ago (before the Sony break-ins), and I'm only holding onto the DSi-XL because of the games I've got and way better battery life (although I think I much prefer playing games with a stylus - fat finger syndrome)

As a very infrequent online player what's worrying me is that the publishers like EA, Activision etc seem to hellbent on moving to a subscription only service. So not only do you have to pay for PSN/XBL you then have to pony up for the publishers tax. Carrying that over to mobile, are we going to see games that only work fully with “Elite” (etc) but still liberally splattered with ads? Seems like a logical way to maximise the revenue, but I suspect it'd put a lot of peoples back's up. :(