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Survey says mobile games market has doubled in value

Annual revenues will exceed EURO 1.7 billion

According to a new study by business intelligence firm Screen Digest, the mobile gaming market has doubled in value over the past twelve months - exceeding expectations and sparking substantial venture capital investment.

The newly released report, entitled 'Mobile Gaming Business Models - Opportunities for publishers, developers and network operators', has also revealed a marked change in the worldwide market share, as the traditionally dominant Japanese and Korean publishers have seen their position eroded by increased competition from the US and Europe.

According to the report, 2005 has seen a tremendous growth in Western markets, now accounting for 52 per cent of mobile download revenues. During 2004, major players Jamdat (US) and Gameloft (EU) accounted for 30 per cent of games download revenues in the US and Europe, while traditional videogame publishers entering the mobile market have faired considerably less well.

David MacQueen, Screen Digest games analyst and author of the report, stated: "By examining real company revenues, we have been able to define an accurate market share for mobile games companies in the US and Europe. While no-one in the industry will be shocked to see Jamdat top in the US and Gameloft top in Europe, there are a few surprises, not least the relative weakness of the 'traditional' video games publishers. THQ Wireless is the only company from that space to have carved out a significant slice of the pie."

Revenues for mobile gaming are expected to reach EURO 1.7 billion by 2010, with over 2 billion games enabled handsets reaching market. The potential for growth in this rapidly emerging area has prompted significant venture capital investment, as more than EURO 425 million has been invested since 1999.

"Mobile gaming has arrived and is delivering results for investors and operators. The worldwide market was worth EURO 850 million in 2004, and our data shows that in 2005, the market will have almost doubled to reach EURO 1.7 billion in revenues. This is great news for investors, from whom we have tracked over half a billion dollars worth of investment since 1999. As operator voice revenues worldwide have slowed, the importance of mobile data has markedly increased, and games are delivering sizable revenues. The importance of this sector will continue to grow," MacQueen concluded.

The full Screen Digest report, which includes comprehensive region-by-region forecasts for game download revenues to 2010, can be purchased directly from the Screen Digest website.

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