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Online games worth $29 billion by 2016

Market will nearly double thanks to social networking and subscriptions - report

A report by DFC Intelligence predicts that global revenue for online games will nearly double from $15.7 billion in 2010 to $29 billion in 2016.

Online Games Market Forecasts states that a large part of that revenue will come from PC gaming. Alone it makes up $23 billion of the estimated total, thanks to games available on social networking sites like Facebook.

It also notes that users have been quick to accept spending their money on virtual goods, like microtransactions in free-to-play games, and sales from this, subscription based products like World Of Warcraft and online usage will increase by 75 per cent. The report also takes into account revenue generated by advertising in online games.

"Our overall forecasts for the online game industry have increased slightly," explained David Cole, DFC Intelligence analyst "However, we have lowered our forecasts for online games on consoles and raised our forecasts for online games via the PC."

Of recent issues with security and their effect on online gaming for consoles, Cole stated attacks like the PSN hack are "likely to mean manufacturers and distributors in the console space take a more conservative attitude."

"The Wii U is the only new console system on the horizon and Nintendo has never had a major focus on online games. More importantly the short lifecycle and fragmented nature of console hardware can make it hard for companies to try creative new business models."

The report is available in full here.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.