Mobile gaming is set to soar over the next five years according to a new report from Juniper Research, which forecasts global revenues of US$ 17.5 billion (13.8 billion Euro).
The report predicts that annual global revenues will surpass US$ 3 billion (2.4 billion Euro) by the end of 2006, with casual games set to drive positive growth over the next few years.
The Asia-Pacific mobile market will continue to dominate, generating 38 per cent of total global revenues and accounting for 60 per cent of the world's one-time game downloads between 2006-2011.
Europe is close behind, with a figure of 31 per cent of global revenues projected, followed by North America with 22 per cent, South America with 5 per cent and the rest of the world making up the remaining 4 per cent.
Juniper believes that the market will be driven by casual games - although the report does concede that big name brands and licenses will become more prolific as major videogames publishers begin to turn their attention to the mobile space.
In terms of pricing and business models for the mobile gaming sector, the report notes that the Asian Pacific region has strengthened its market dominance by offering the lowest average price points for mobile games.
Juniper suggests that the pricing structure in Western markets needs to be re-evaluated in order to drive market growth - a point which is supported by the recent M: Metrics report, which noted that pricing was a major factor in the current stagnation of the US market.
Following a year of unprecedented growth, consolidation and technological advances, the future of the mobile gaming space appears exceptionally bright. Major videogames publishers are increasing their presence in the sector, lucrative new business models are becoming more popular and investment from venture capital firms looks set to continue.
However, there remain a number of constraints, technological restrictions and pricing issues which mobile developers, publishers, distributors and carriers will need to fully address if the industry is to achieve its predicted growth.