A new report from research group Screen Digest has predicted that growth in the digital distribution of games will rise dramatically over the remainder of the decade.
The report, “Digital Distribution of Games--Growth Opportunities and Forecasts to 2010," suggests that in the West, the digital distribution market for both downloading and streaming content for PC and console products is likely to reach $400 million.
"Towards the end of the 1990s, when the world was gripped in Internet-based business fever, industry commentators were heralding the potential of digital distribution for games, and estimating that within a few years it would have a significant impact on the make up of the industry's supply chain," said Piers Harding-Rolls, author of the report. "Fast forward to the mid-point of 2005 and although these predictions have yet to materialize, over the last 12 months the market has shown signs of getting into its stride, and has produced a number of noteworthy success stories in both the download and Games on Demand sectors."
The report also notes that in 2005, most premium game content has been PC-based, and aimed only at a narrow segment of customers. Premium console content downloads, entirely through Xbox Live, accounted for 11 percent of core download sales in 2004, and is expected to increase, with paid PSP downloads scheduled for 2006, much digital content to be available on Xbox 360 Live, and Nintendo’s plan for retro downloads on the Revolution already well-known.