Speaking at a two-day conference staged by the IFSE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe), Electronic Arts’ director of e-commerce, John Burns has predicted that European gamers could be spending more than $4.4 billion a year online within three years.
Burns quoted data showing that Europeans currently spend an average of ten hours a week online, but that this was set to rapidly increase in the future as social gaming and community experiences become more popular on both PCs and consoles. Burns also put the total global audience for online games at 100 million.
“Not only is gaming a significant industry in size now but online gaming is an important step for us as an industry,” claimed Burns. “Many people play online games and it is not just confined to a hardcore of gamers, it is very broad and widespread. There are many people playing online games of all ages, male and female.”
“European broadband penetration is growing, from 2006 at around 35 percent to over 45 percent by 2012,” he said. “Household penetration of broadband is also exponential - and we are looking at that growing in Europe from 40 per cent now to over 60 per cent in 2012.
“Not only is online significant in scope now, but it is accelerating. We are only at the beginning of this curve - and we are also only at the beginning of this curve as far as consumers go. The projected spend of online gamers by 2010 is $4.4bn.”