A new report from Strategy Analytics, titled "Online Games: Global Market Forecast", says the global online games market is already worth $4 billion and is expected to triple in the next five years. In particular, the report says the MMO games market, led by the World of Warcraft
franchise, is "blazing the way for electronic sell-through and digital distribution of both PC and console games."
According to the report, the online games category is currently the largest category out of the three main online entertainment markets (music, games and video) in terms of revenue.
Strategy Analytics estimates that the global online games market generated $3.8 billion in 2006 and $5.2 billion in 2007, and projects that the market will grow at a rate of 25.2 percent annually in the forecast period spanning 2007-2011 -- reaching 11.8 billion dollars and representing approximately one third of the total games software market by 2011.
“The rapid growth of the addressable market for digital distribution of both PC and Console games will help clear the way for distribution of mainstream hit titles which has up to now been restricted to the physical retail channel,” comments Martin Olausson, director of digital media research at Strategy Analytics.
“The main driver for sustained growth in the online games market will be the continued uptake of broadband services around the world”, adds David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Additionally, the very lucrative revenue opportunity in both the massively multiplayer segment and the electronic sell through market will continue to attract new entrants into the online games market.”