Ovum predicts digital gaming to touch $30.3 bn by 2016

MUMBAI: The Asia-Pacific digital games market will more than double over the next four years at a CAGR of 18 per cent to be worth $30.3 billion in 2016 from $11.2 billion in 2010, according to Ovum.

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. This figure is expected to grow to nearly 60 per cent by 2016.

Ovum‘s consumer telecoms analyst Neha Dharia said that Asia-Pacific is already vital in terms of digital gaming retail sales, and will grow in importance in future. She commented: "The region will drive the digital games market globally. 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."

With more and more casual players entering the market, gamer numbers will grow faster than retail sales, resulting in the erosion of average revenue per user (ARPU). Casual and social games will be vital to growing the number of gamers and bringing digital games into the mainstream.

There is a considerable split between Asia-Pacific‘s developed and emerging regions. This results in a higher level of ARPU in South-Korea and Japan than in China, for example, which has lower ARPU due to a large gamer base and the relatively low cost of games.

Ovum‘s forecast for the Asia-Pacific market predicts that online unique gamers will number over 1 billion in 2016, while there will be slightly fewer than 900 million mobile gamers in 2016.

Dharia concluded: "The growth of digital gaming in Asia-Pacific will give service providers an opportunity to grow their revenues in the region. Telcos in particular could harness this growth by offering gaming-specific connections, or bundling mobile games with data access packs. In addition, shifting the distribution of payments offline could encourage the number of in-app game purchases."

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