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Study: Online Driving Games Biz To $64.9 Billion In 2013

Global game industry revenues will reach $64.9 billion by the end of 2013 thanks to the explosion of digital revenue streams, says a new report by analysis firm Strategy Analytics.
Global game industry revenues will reach $64.9 billion by the end of 2013 thanks to the explosion of digital revenue streams, says a new report by analysis firm Strategy Analytics. The industry stood at $46.5 billion in 2009, notes the report, which says spending on both physical and digital software will continue to grow. The highest growth area is online gaming, according to the firm, which projects revenue from that sector alone to grow 18.7 percent annually, hitting $24.8 billion by 2013 -- that's 38 percent of total software revenues. In the five year view, Strategy Analytics says virtual goods sales in social network games will experience the biggest growth: Most virtual item sales will come from the Asia-Pacific region long-accustomed to the microtransactions paradigm, but North America and Western Europe should see faster growth, says the report. After a challenging 2009 for packaged goods, many video game publishers -- Electronic Arts, Take-Two and THQ, for example -- now frequently discuss, to varying extents, realigning their product mix to capture more revenue from the digital space. EA in particular is betting big on digital revenue with its recent acquisition of Facebook gaming giant Playfish. Many analysts expect the traditional gaming market to continue to thrive -- but it faces increasing challenges in posting year-over-year growth. The crux of Strategy Analytics' report, however, finds that the rapid growth of online gaming models will play a dominant role in helping the industry continue to show growth over all. "New online revenue streams, such as in-game dynamic advertising and sales of virtual goods, will spur rapid growth in online game revenues in the coming years," says analyst Jia Wu, author of the report.

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