NEW PRICING MODELS ARE REQUIRED TO KICK-START THE EUROPEAN WIRELESS GAMING MARKET
28th October 2004, London: According to a new report by media research consultancy Screen Digest, the global mobile gaming download market will be a billion-dollar industry (€880m) by the end of this year. However - the lion's share of this market will originate from Japan and Korea - last year these two markets accounted for almost 80% of the global market. Screen Digest forecasts that the global market will be worth $6.4bn (€5.25bn) by 2010 - see Chart 1 below.
The report concludes that operators in Europe and North America should experiment with different pricing models in order to realise the full potential of their wireless gaming markets. In Japan, the world's most successful mobile gaming download market by some distance, a flat-rate pricing model has prevailed from the outset.
Screen Digest believes that the key to igniting the market is to make the proposition as simple as possible for the user. This means moving away from the current complex structure of tariffs that charge customers for each game download and then add further charges for data airtime. Instead, operators should look to remove these kinds of hurdles and move towards flat-rate pricing models.
"We think that mobile operators in Europe have not yet got the strategies right to exploit this market to its full potential", states Screen Digest Chief Analyst Ben Keen. "Operators should consider flat-rate data pricing and subscription models to drive take-up of these services and we believe that there are some major European players who are prepared to do so."
The report found that there are 49 different games services offered in Europe compared to only nine major services in North America. However, American mobile users have a larger number of games made available to them than their European counterparts (203 games on average - more than twice the European offer). Indeed, Screen Digest forecasts that the North American market will grow faster than that in Europe.
However, game download rates per enabled handset are dramatically higher in Korea than in Europe or North America. Mobile games ARPUs (average revenues per user) for games-enabled handsets were four times higher in Japan and Korea than in Western Europe and America last year.
Tim Green, a games industry analyst and lead author of the new report states: "It's barely two years since the first games download services were established in Europe, but now availability is almost ubiquitous and someoperators offer more than 200 titles to their subscribers. As the networks make their payment models more flexible and games developers apply more creativity to their designs, I'm sure we will see significant growth in the future."
The data, forecasts and analysis contained in this press release are taken from the new Screen Digest report: "Wireless Gaming: Operator Strategies, Global Market Outlook and Opportunities for the Games Industry." The report is a comprehensive review of the wireless gaming service deployments and strategies of all the mobile phone operators throughout Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.
Screen Digest is the pre-eminent source of business intelligence, research, and analysis on global audiovisual media. Screen Digest the journal has been published for more than 30 years and is read in over 40 countries. Screen Digest is primarily a research company and publishes a rapidly growing number of major business reports on media markets. The company also offers continuous online research services providing searchable access to a vast database of global audiovisual market research information. Screen Digest also provides single client consultancy services and has undertaken a wide variety of bespoke projects on behalf of numerous national and international organisations.
For further information on this report or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Fay Hamilton Dan Stevenson
Tel: +44 20 7424 2820 Tel: +44 20 7424 2820