Respected financial analyst firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has released the latest version of its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2006-2010 report, revealing that video games will soar to become a $46 billion market in 2010, the overall fastest growth in the US of all entertainment markets.
For the gaming sector, it was noted that worldwide, growth slumped to 3.3 percent in 2005, the slowest increase during the past five years, due to the console transition. However, the survey reports: "The next generation of consoles and recently introduced handheld games will spur the console/handheld market in the U.S., EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa], Asia Pacific, and Canada, while PC games will continue to decline or see little growth in the U.S. and EMEA."
It also commented: "The introduction of new wireless phones capable of downloading games will boost the wireless game market in the U.S., EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Canada. Overall, the video game market will expand at an 11.4 percent [annual growth rate] to $46 billion in 2010 from $27 billion in 2005."
Overall, the survey predicts that the global entertainment and media (E&M) industry has entered a solid growth phase and "will increase at a 6.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $1.8 trillion in 2010." The survey particularly notes: "New revenue streams are growing rapidly, the growth of physical formats has slowed, and availability of licensed digital distribution now provides consumers alternatives to piracy."
Splitting things up by region: "The U.S. remains the largest E&M market, growing at a 5.6 percent compound annual growth rate reaching $726 billion in 2010," said James O'Shaughnessy, U.S. Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment & Media practice.
O'Shaughnessy singled out games and the Internet when discussing North America, commenting: "Video games and the Internet will be the fastest-growing segments, with compound annual increases of 8.9 and 8.4 percent, respectively. Video games will be propelled by next generation console games and rapid growth in online and wireless games."
Elsehwere, in the EMEA region, entertainment will see a 6.1 percent CAGR to reach $580 billion in 2010, with "double-digit growth" in games, and Canada's double-digit growth in the game sector was also mentioned. Worldwide, games is predicted to grow at a much swifter pace (11.4%) compared to TV networks (6.6%), films (5.3%), music (5.2%), and even casinos (8.8%), though Internet advertising (18.1%) and Internet access (11.9%) outpace it.