Game sales to hit $70 billion by 2015 - Analyst

DFC Intelligence forecasts 16 percent growth in worldwide revenues of PC, console, online, portable markets over six-year period.

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Despite some depressing sales figures in recent years, analysts have generally remained upbeat about the future of gaming. While those reassurances are usually couched in vague terms, one firm is putting a solid number and a due date on its positive prognostication.

Online games like Champions Online can be more profitable for publishers even if they bring in less money in the short term.
Online games like Champions Online can be more profitable for publishers even if they bring in less money in the short term.

DFC Intelligence this week released a series of reports forecasting the next few years of the interactive entertainment industry, predicting that worldwide gaming revenues will total $70.1 billion in 2015. That's a jump of roughly 16 percent from the $60.4 billion DFC tallied for 2009. Those figures represent the firm's best estimates of the global total of revenues derived from console, PC, portable, and online games, from boxed products and subscription fees to microtransactions.

Compared to gaming's explosive growth up until the economic downturn of 2008, a 16 percent rise is fairly modest for a six-year stretch. However, DFC believes the industry will continue to shrink for the next couple of years, with the bulk of its projected growth to come between 2013 and 2015.

The industry faces a number of challenges to revenue growth in the next few years, according to DFC. Most of the firm's anticipated decline is chalked up to a slowdown in the console market as the current generation of systems age.

Another factor cited is the trend toward online gaming. While subscription fees and microtransactions are more profitable for companies than boxed retail products, DFC notes that they generally provide less in the way of overall revenues in the short term.

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