The Acacia Research Group has released the findings of its latest study concluding that the market for middleware across the industry will grow from its current $718.4 million to nearly $1.3 billion by 2011.
Calling the outlook for many middleware suppliers over the next five years "make-or-break," Acacia says their findings conclude that the middleware market remains "volatile and risky," with in-house solutions in both the game and mobile sectors competing with ITV middleware vendors.
Furthermore, the study sees third-party solutions accounting for about 25% of total middleware spending, which the group expects to see itself grow from $79 million this year to over $108.4 million in 2011, but notes that in-house spending on solutions will outpace third parties as developers approach next-gen platform complexity.
In the mobile sector, Acacia notes that middleware vendors are still struggling for "long term viability in their business models," and conclude that vendors must look beyond the trend of handset makers offering their own free development technology to entice developers and find a licensing solution that "makes sense in a market faced with limited per-title budgets."
“Game middleware providers continue to see fierce competition in the form of in-house solutions," said Christine Arrington, Senior Analyst at Acacia Research Group, "Meanwhile, the mobile middleware market is still in the early stages but these providers are going to feel the pinch of in-house competition as well; with handset and chipset vendors providing adequate free solutions. Finally, ITV middleware vendors are finally seeing the first real deployments of MHP, with OCAP on the horizon and must innovate to provide solutions much more robust and revenue generating than less expensive standards-based alternatives.”