Games market for mobile phones set to grow 78pc

10 Mar 2005

Revenues from mobile games are set to mushroom by 78pc to nearly US$5.6bn driven by the onset of mass multiplayer gaming and greater playability, a report by Juniper Research claims.

Revolutions such as the arrival of multiplayer games as well as a widening gaming demographic, greater playability and increased adoption of mobile services in emerging markets point to a fast expanding market for mobile games.

The report claimed that for mass mobile multiplayer gaming to become a reality, data download costs must fall, while the average purchase price of games will rise to reflect this.

More than one third of game revenues are to be derived from rentals and subscriptions by 2009 rather than download, the report found.

Its author Dr Windsor Holden of Juniper said: “With console games, customers are obliged to make the commitment to purchase a fairly expensive piece of hardware. The beauty of mobile is that it provides a potential global audience of several hundred million 2.5G users who already have that hardware in the form of their handset.”

Holden went on to say that developers and publishers were now recognising the need to expand the demographic beyond the core gamer.

“Many of the mobile games released so far have been first person shooter and sports simulations. These staple genres of console and PC have attracted a similar calibre of gamer to the mobile market, namely young adult males. Consequently, the rest of the mobile audience was largely ignored. Increasingly, we’ll see a wider range of lifestyle games aimed at audiences beyond the core gamer.

“Furthermore, in a number of emerging markets — most notably India — games console, PC and indeed fixed broadband penetration is negligible. Any games market that develops in these countries will see a substantial proportion – possibility even the majority – of their revenues derived from mobile services,” Holden added.

By John Kennedy