According to a study from ABI Research, the video game industry is expected to double in sales from 2005's $32.6 billion to $65.9 billion in 2011. The research firm indicates that the growth will take place as a result of online and mobile gaming becoming more popular.
ABI predicts that the online game segment, which includes online-focused games for PC, consoles, and handheld systems, will grow by 95% each year until 2011, until it's the dominating force in the market. Traditional single-player games are expected to remain high sellers, but will not see as much growth as their online counterparts.
"The online console gaming market is set to take off, as the new generation of consoles arrives with advanced networking and online gaming capabilities," said principal analyst Michael Wolf. "The ability to download game demos, buy casual as well as full-fledged console games, and access advanced content, including HD video, will result in "online" becoming the key technology component of gaming for this and subsequent console generations."
In particular, ABI estimates that mobile gaming will grow significantly up to the end of the prediction period, due to increased interest in the somewhat fragmented mobile platform by publishers and developers. Mobile software engineers are currently working on a unified, open platform to combat or eliminate the problem of a splintered user base.
"Gaming has become a mass-market entertainment industry on a par with TV, movies and music," said Wolf. "Segments such as video game advertising, set to become a market worth close to $3 billion by 2011, will result in the further maturing of this industry. The ability to play music and media from powerful consoles and handhelds will drive overall industry growth as consumers begin to view gaming devices as one-stop-shop entertainment platforms."