For gamers interested in the gaming landscape in the year 2014, the past couple of weeks have been productive. Last week, market research firm Screen Digest predicted streaming game services would slowly ramp up to become a $400 million industry by 2014. By that same year, Futuresource Consulting believes the mobile gaming market will have reached $10 billion, the firm said this week.
According to Futuresource's report, Apple's App Store will continue to be a major player driving growth in the mobile gaming sector. In 2010, the firm expects App Store sales to hit $1.7 billion in global revenue, a figure it says accounts for 30 percent of the total market. As for the remainder, Futuresource found that 60 percent of games were downloaded through "network operator stores," while the remaining 10 percent came from other app stores, such as the Android market.
"There is no doubt that paid-for apps games are leading the gaming charge," Futuresource mobile analyst Patrik Pfandler said. "Our forecasts show apps-based gaming will account for more than 95 percent of total mobile gaming revenues by 2014--that's despite the glut of free apps games out there."
Pfandler went on to note that apps gaming will continue to grow on the back of in-game payments as part of a free-to-play, microtransaction-based business model. "In the longer run, we're going to see ad-funded apps games start to gain more traction as well," he said.
One other driving factor for mobile game growth is the increased adoption of smartphones. According to Futuresource, smartphone ownership is expected to grow by 50 percent this year, topping 270 million units worldwide.