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Analysts: Online Games Market Will Nearly Double By 2016

Analysts: Online Games Market Will Nearly Double By 2016

June 23, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Analysts at DFC Intelligence are estimating that revenues for the worldwide online gaming market will reach $29 billion by 2016, up 84 percent from the $15.7 billion reported in 2010.

According to its latest Online Game Market Forecasts report, the majority of those revenues ($23 billion in 2016, or 88 percent) will continue to come from online games on the PC. An estimated $17 billion of that will come from subscriptions, online usage and virtual goods, with consumer acceptance of the latter said to be growing "at a rapid pace."

The firm has raised its overall online game industry forecast slightly, though it has lowered its console forecast in the process. While dedicated game consoles are expected to embrace online business models more in the coming years, growth in this sector is slower than the firm expected.

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

The recent attacks on Sony's PlayStation network may also cause console manufacturers to "take a more conservative attitude" toward online gaming, according to DFC.

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