The online games market in Japan continues to go from strength to strength, with new figures from trade group OnlineGameForum suggesting that this year will see a 62 per cent growth in revenues in the sector.
The figures, reported in popular newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, suggest that revenues from online games will top 93.8 billion Yen (687 million Euro) at the end of this year, up from 57.8 billion Yen (423 million Euro) last year.
The meteoric rise of the sector has been fuelled by a number of factors, with console online gaming and PC online gaming both contributing to growth. Key online titles in Japan include Square Enix' PS2 and PC MMOG Final Fantasy XI and Korean-developed PC MMOG Ragnarok Online.
The online gaming market is expected to continue to accelerate in the region with the launch of online game services for the PSP and DS handhelds and the arrival of new consoles with enhanced online functions, as well as the release of key new online software titles.
The growth in online game revenues is also reflected in many other territories; the current market leader in the MMOG space, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, has over 3.5 million subscribers worldwide at present, and other online sectors such as casual gaming have also shown significant growth over the past year.
Mainichi Shimbun via GameFront (Germany)