How much will digital gaming be worth in Asia-Pacific in 2016? Try $US30 billion

Analyst firm expects digital gaming market to more than double in the next four years

The Asia-Pacific digital games market will be worth $US30.3 billion in 2016, according to analyst firm, Ovum.

According to Ovum’s latest report, Digital Games Outlook 2011–16: Asia-Pacific, said market is expected to “more than double” over the next four years from US$11.2 billion in 2010.

Ovum’s consumer telecoms analyst, Neha Dharia, attributes this growth to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of revenues at 18 per cent.

“This growth rate is a healthy two per cent ahead of the global average, and retail sales in the region comprised over half of global retails sales in 2011,” she said.

As a result, Dharia foresees the figure growing to nearly 60 per cent by 2016.

An erosion of average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected due to “more and more casual players entering the market,” meaning that retail sales will lag behind gamer numbers.

“Casual and social games will be vital to growing the number of gamers and bringing digital games into the mainstream,” Dharia said.

Online unique gamers in the Asia Pacific region are expected to surpass one billion in 2016 and just under 900 million mobile gamers.

“The growth of digital gaming in Asia-Pacific will give service providers an opportunity to grow their revenues in the region,” Dharia said.

“Telcos in particular could harness this growth by offering gaming-specific connections, or bundling mobile games with data access packs.”

Dharia also expects that the shift in distribution of payments offline might “encourage the number of in-app game purchases.”

Despite the precarious state of the game development industry in Australia, such as the recent closures of studios such as Visceral Games and Blue Tongue Entertainment, Ovum remains quite upbeat about the future of the overall Asia Pacific region.

“The region will drive the digital games market globally,” Dharia said.

“The most significant retail sales contribution will come from the massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) sector, while the highest amount of growth in the Asia-Pacific market will come from mobile gaming.”

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Patrick Budmar

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