Video game spending worldwide will exceed $74 billion in 2011, with that total reaching $112 billion by 2015, according to an analyst study.
Technology analyst firm Gartner estimates in its Market Trends: Gaming Ecosystem, 2011 report that spending on video games in 2011 will be up by 10.4 percent compared to $67 billion in 2010.
Software sales will make up $44.7 billion of the $74 billion total for 2011, while hardware will account for $17.8 billion and online gaming will see $11.9 billion.
The analyst firm estimates that, over the next five years, gaming hardware's market share will remain constant, while software will lose part of its share to online gaming, with online gaming seeing a 27 percent annual growth rate through 2015.
Subscription fees for online gaming will decline slightly over this period, while spending on virtual goods will grow exponentially, according to the report.
By 2015, the firm estimates that gaming software spending will reach $56.5 billion worldwide, while hardware will reach $27.4 billion and online gaming $28.3 billion.
Discussing app store gaming, Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, explained, "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. For this reason, mobile gaming will continue to thrive as more consumers expand their use of new and innovative portable connected devices."
A recent market research report by Newzoo found
that U.S. consumer spending on video games in 2011 will reach a total of $21.6 billion, just lower than that in 2010.