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Games market to reach $70 billion by 2015

Analyst predicts industry decline to continue until 2012, until online and subscriptions take over

Market research firm DFC Intelligence has suggested that the worldwide market for games will reach $70.1 billion by 2015 - but not before enduring several more years of decline.

The prediction came as part of a new series of reports, in which a significant change in spending patterns - from packaged goods to online and subscription-based products - is also prophesised.

As a result, the decline in revenues in 2009 is predicted to continue, with significant growth not expected until 2013 to 2015. A slowdown in growth for the current generation of consoles is also blamed for the predicted short term reversal.

DFC expects the PC to continue to pioneer online business models and exceed total market revenues of $20 billion in 2015. Console online game revenue is expected to quadruple from 2009 to 2015.

"The overall game industry is expected to undergo a decline as more consumers embrace online business models, many of which involve a significant free-to-play component. These models may be more profitable than the traditional packaged goods business, but in the short term they provide less revenue," said analyst David Cole.

"Online distribution and subscription models that worked on the PC are expected to come to the console systems over the next few years," said Cole. "This should help offset some of the decline at retail."

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