Global games industry set for massive growth

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The latest forecast for the growth of the global games industry from show that the next four years are boom years indeed, with a growth of $41.9 billion in global sales last year to $68.3 billion in 2012 predicted.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers data is from the forthcoming "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012" report.

Console games up

Console games are predicted to grow by 6.9 percent annually, going from total sales of $24.9 billion last year to $34.7 billion in 2012.

Online and wireless games are predicted to have the fastest rate of growth over the next four years (16.9 percent and 19 percent, respectively), with the in-game advertising industry also predicted to reap massive rewards in the coming years, going from the $1 billion level in 2007 to $2.3 billion in 2012.

"That's phenomenal growth," PwC partner Stefanie Kane told Reuters, "especially considering that in-game advertising only works with certain kinds of games, sports being a primary example."

PC games down

Offline PC gaming is the only gaming sector predicted to fall in terms of revenue growth from $3.8 billion last year to $3.6 billion in 2012.

PricewaterhouseCoopers report lists the following factors that feed into the rapid growth of the games industry over the next four years:

* mobile phones capable of downloading games with sophisticated graphics and displaying them on relatively large screens;

* an online market driven by the increased penetration of broadband households;

* the increasing popularity of massively multiplayer online games that earn revenue through subscription fees and microtransactions.

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