Representatives from research firm Parks Associates have announced they will release new research details at next week's Austin Game Conference that shows the online game market in North America will grow from $1.1 billion in 2005 to $4.4 billion in 2010.
The study was conducted by the research and consulting company, who will discuss their new data at AGC. According to information so far released, the research shows that PC gamers in North America currently spend an average of 18.5 hours playing games each week.
This is notably more than console gamers at 13.6 hours, portable gamers at 8.9 hours and mobile gamers at 4.6 hours. Of these PC gamers, 70 percent play some form of multiplayer online game. However, these initial statistics do not enumerate the specific numbers of regular PC gamers in the region compared to console, portable and mobile gamers.
These statistics come following other recent estimates
from analyst firm DFC Intelligence, suggesting that the worldwide online game market (including all digitally downloaded content) is forecasted to grow from $3.4 billion in 2005 to over $13 billion in 2011, driven by the increase in broadband households, higher PC penetration and more connected console video game systems.
The Austin Game Conference itself is due to run on September 6th, 7th and 8th in Austin, Texas and will feature over 2,400 game industry professionals from twenty countries, representing more than 520 companies. Further details can be found at the official website
, and Gamasutra will be publishing multiple reports from the conference as it happens.