Wireless entertainment publisher iFone has released a forecast predicting massive growth for the US mobile gaming market, which it says will overtake markets in Europe and Asia within two years.
There are currently an estimated 35-45 million wireless gaming-enabled devices in North America, and the number is expected to triple by the end of this year. iFone CEO Morgan O'Rahilly says that as penetration increases, more consumers will opt to play games wirelessly.
"The potential market for US cell phone users with a significant disposable income is very substantial," commented O'Rahilly.
"Added to which, there is also a strong casual gaming culture with gamers already used to playing against each other online and across a diversity of gaming platforms."
Juniper Research analyst Dr. Windsor Holden said that the US mobile market is currently in its infancy compared with those in Europe and Asia, but noted that "signficantly higher growth curves in the US" could be observed.
Holden said this was partly because service providers "have honed their products in these other markets and thus American consumers are being hit at the outset with a much more extensive content portfolio, at a time when handsets are that much more sophisticated and - in terms of the multimedia experience - user-friendly."
iFone said the success of its European games portfolio has been mirrored in the US with games like Monopoly, a chart-topping title on both continents. This success is expected to continue with the release of iFone titles such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Battleship and Roger Ramjet.
"The US operators understand the advantages that targeting the mass market can bring and through this approach they are well placed to maximise their gaming revenues," said Chett Shearer, iFone's VP of Sales to the Americas.
"And with such great US-focused brands among iFone's portfolio, the US market is going to continue to be a fantastic growth area for iFone."