Mobile gaming goes boom, $57 billion over next six years

Cellular phones these days aren’t just communication devices. Between integrated MP3 players and mobile television functionality, cell phones have become full-on portable multimedia machines. Yes, cell phones have made it a long way since the ancient Nokias and “Snake.”

According to a report by Juniper Research, a huge emerging market is that of mobile gaming, both subscription-based services and full downloads. In fact, they’re predicting that the global annual revenues for cell phone-based video games will hit $17.6 billion by 2011, compared to the $3.1 billion expected for 2006. This translates to $57 billion in revenue over the next six years.

There’s little surprise that Asia is leading the pack when it comes to making full use of their higher end cell phones. With Japan and South Korea leading the charge, Asia Pacific will account for 38% of “cumulative revenues” over the next six years. Europe, North America, and the rest of world will account for 31, 22, and 9 per cent, respectively.

The driving force behind this growth appears to be casual gamers, according to Juniper Research Director Bruce Gibson: “People want to fill ‘dead time’ with easy to use, but fun games. This is the same in just about every culture”.


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