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Mobile games worth US$7 Billion by 2006

Cellular News reports — “It was not until the arrival of colour, download-enabled devices in the mass market in 2003 that games on mobile devices advanced from Gameboys, embedded games and limited text-based games using SMS and WAP.

A godsend for hard-pressed mobile operators that are concentrating on driving data applications against a backdrop of stagnating voice markets, the mobile gaming industry will further benefit from established and sustainable mobile content business models and value chains.

Games are universally attractive and with an ever-increasing number of subscribers owning, and always carrying, a colour handset with data capabilities; content owners and application developers are seeing a new medium through which to sell their products and services.

A new study by Frost & Sullivan is optimistic that widening distribution channels, increasing awareness of mobile gaming, coupled with the rising degree of comfort with payment and delivery over the air amongst subscribers, will trigger an explosion in growth.

The universal appeal of games will be further fuelled by deepening penetration of more sophisticated handsets, propelling revenues in European mobile gaming market from just under US$800.79 million in 2002 to just below US$7 billion in 2006.

Jan ten Sythoff, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, notes that the most potent driving force behind growth in the European mobile gaming industry is the increasing number of people with games capable devices, as well as the increasing availability of quality games titles.

The media gaming sector, including games for mobile consoles delivered typically through physical media, currently constitutes the dominant revenue source, accounting for 62.7% of total sales in 2002.

From 2003 onwards, however, the development of Java gaming will inject new vigour into the over the air (OTA) sector, comprising those games delivered to the phone over the wireless wide area network. By the end of the study period in 2006, the OTA sector will steal the limelight, amassing 88.3% of total sales.”

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