By David Radd
Gartner Inc. is estimating that there will be a $74 billion spend on gaming in 2011, representing an over 10 per cent rise from 2010, with two-thirds of that spent on software. Additionally, they estimate that the spend will grow to $112 billion by 2015.
“As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, gaming will remain a key component in the use of these devices,” said principal research analyst Tuong Nguyen. “Mobile games are the most downloaded application category across most application stores. For this reason, mobile gaming will continue to thrive as more consumers expand their use of new and innovative portable connected devices.”
The report (titled Market Trends: Gaming Ecosystem 2011) estimates that software will lead hardware in sales for 2011, with online following. However, with micro-transactions and subscriptions from online games, they estimate a compound annual growth rate of 27 per cent through 2015.
“We find that subscription fees are giving way to ‘freemium’ models, in which the game is provided for free to gamers but is monetized through advertising (both in-game advertising and display advertising) and in-game micro-transactions, such as the sale of value-added services or virtual-good purchases,” noted research director Brian Blau. “This trend is prevailing given the rise of social gaming, in which online gaming is connected to social networking sites and social networking platforms.”