Global mobile gaming revenues are on target to total US$4.3bn, up 50pc on last year, making it possible for revenues from gaming to tower over mobile TV and adult content.
“But we still expect it to lag behind mobile music since music is a more familiar form of entertainment,” said Tuong Huy Nguyen, senior research analyst at Gartner.
“Given the ubiquity of mobile phones in many markets and the ease of game play, mobile gaming is expected to reach more of the global population than has been the case for traditional PC and console gaming,” Nguyen said.
According to Gartner, more mobile operators have opened up their billing systems during the past couple of years, giving content providers the opportunity to sell products off-deck (selling directly to the consumer).
While this process has been gradual, even traditionally reluctant operators are starting to participate and provide more off-deck content as they recognise the growing benefits.
“One of the things driving mobile gaming in developed markets is the availability of faster processors in mobile devices, which enable faster response times, 3D graphics and advanced sound capabilities, as well as less-expensive and bigger storage capabilities for memory-intensive games,” said Nick Ingelbrecht, research director at Gartner.
“At the same time, simple stripped-down games that capitalise on location-awareness and personal interaction are interesting for aficionados.”
In Western Europe, mobile gaming end-user revenue is projected to grow from US$1.5bn in 2007 to US$2bn in 2011.
By John Kennedy