Mobile gaming to hit $10 billion by 2014 - Study

Futuresource Consulting projections indicate smartphone growth, microtransactions will fuel explosive growth over next four years.

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.

The iPhone gaming landscape looks fertile.

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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

15 comments
madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

"One other driving factor for mobile game growth is the increased adoption of smartphones." ...Um, duh? In fact, I'd venture to say that 100% of the surge forward will be powered by phones that can run apps in some form. Go figure. The Android marketplace is going to be interesting as it grows. The iTunes store is king, but Apple seems to have no problem alienating its consumers by making old hardware and software obsolete in short order. So, which is going to openly offer downloads of old versions that worked on older hardware before the other? Mobile platforms are never going to make the "real" dent they love to brag about moving in to unless they support a whole lot of backwards compatibility. In another 5 years when people have any of a half dozen iPhones or any of hundreds of slightly different Android-based devices, the money is going to come from whomever makes things most accessible... sure, they're bound to make billions, but a lot of that value (until this article, at least) has been hyped around destroying portable gaming consoles.

SpecPT
SpecPT

you guys are taking this article the wrong way. Mobile games will NOT be in direct competition with home and handheld consoles, bc these devices will always be 1 step ahead in hardware! just like it is now, it will be a casual sort of gamming that fits dead hours on the bus, train, work etc... the thing is that in 4 years we'll all have smartphones, and so the app game market will be much larger. add that to the tecnological development in the smartphone and cloud computing departments and you get an idea of what they mean...

scratchisme
scratchisme

On Live app on a smartphone.. that is the only way that I see mobile devices truly threatening the home market. Oh wouldn't that be great... :)

monson21502
monson21502

i can truly say they didnt get a red penny off me. i havent even played a demo of any games that was spamed on my cell phone before i bought it:P

xXFr34k_0uTXx
xXFr34k_0uTXx

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

soulless4now
soulless4now

I still prefer a good old handheld. Call me old fashion, but I just like my gaming and mobile devices to be separate. I want real games, not some plain casual apps games.

adajon100
adajon100

"apps-based gaming will account for more than 95 percent of total mobile gaming revenues" So are they saying a few years from now when the 3DS has sold over 100 million units, i think it probably will, its game sales will count for less than 5 percent of mobile gaming revenues.

zequex
zequex

Next they'll be saying that there will be a computer in every home! Or that one day you can fit a computer into your pocket! (sarcasm) Seriously, guys, I know it may seem unlikely but I've learned never EVER to make assumptions about what will or will not happen with technology in the future. You may be right, but let time tell. In the mean time let's celebrate the awesome age of technology we are in! :)

Crumblet
Crumblet

Look to toddx77's comment for truthiness.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Apple is now a giant. Their earnings are bigger than Microsoft and Sony and customer satisfaction is pretty high. THey will grow in the future even more

toddx77
toddx77

Why would anyone want their phone to be their main gaming device instead of pc, ps3, 360, or wii?

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

lol. Who writes this stuff anyway? It's like they're just doing wild guesses with little backup on it.

karmasbeeoch
karmasbeeoch

keep dreaming futuresouce :P Who pays these morons to come up with such fairy tales?