The increasing popularity of casual gaming, combined with a steadily increasing variety of gaming-friendly handsets offering high quality 3D graphics aimed at core gamers, will help to push end-user generated revenues from mobile games to nearly $10bn by 2009.
That’s according to a new report by Juniper Research. In total, more than 460m mobile users are expected to download games by 2009, representing more than a double increase on the current number.
Much of this growth is expected in emerging markets such as the Indian sub-continent, where the number of users will rise from 10m in 2007 to nearly 40m in 2009.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Game downloads have already overtaken those of ringtones in a number of Western European markets, while mobile handsets are now the de facto games console in many developing countries.”
However, the Juniper Research report cautioned that the high cost of browsing and downloading services and content combined with opaque pricing structures were continuing to act as a disincentive to service adoption.
It also welcomed the fact that there were an increasing number of products targeting female gamers, although added that more needed to be done to widen the mobile gaming demographic.
Holden added, “Essentially, the proportion of leading titles focusing on action and adventure has not altered discernibly over the past two years.
“While these are popular within the traditional gaming demographic, there is a major opportunity to attract casual gamers by enhancing a portfolio mix with more titles from alternative genres.
Other findings from the Juniper report include:
• China and the Far East will remain the largest regional market for mobile games throughout the period covered by the report, with revenues rising from nearly $2.7bn in 2007 to $5.7bn by 2012.
• Global revenues from in-game advertising will rise from just $90m in 2007 to more than $1.2bn in 2012
• Operators and publishers should expand the number of games they offer on a free trial basis: with the entry price barrier removed, a greater number of consumers may play the game and ultimately convert to being paid customers.
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