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New Meaning to 'Playing With your Phone'

by Rainier on Aug. 22, 2001 @ 5:15 p.m. PDT

2006 - 440m people around the globe will be playing some kind of wireless game. A new report shortly to be published by independent market analysts Datamonitor reveals that global wireless gaming, already worth millions, is set to for further boom in both revenues and numbers playing.

Revenues gained from wireless games will be eighteen times greater than they are today

According to predictions from the new report, Global Wireless Gaming, combined revenues from the US, Europe and Asia Pacific markets will grow, from an estimated $950m in 2001 to $17.5bn in 2006. Asia Pacific dominates, accounting for 87% of revenues, however by 2006, the US and Europe will have acquired a sizable slice of this share - 40% - compared to just 13% today.

Currently estimated at $105m, Europe's wireless gaming market will grow to $4.2b in 2006. By comparison, that in the US will grow from just $20mn today to $3bn in 2006 as the operators enact their policies of increasing their focus on gaming for revenue generation.

Globally, 120 million people are playing some kind of wireless game and numbers are set to treble With 60mn wireless gamers, half of the total worldwide, Asia Pacific is the wireless gaming capital of the globe.

In Europe, 41m currently play games on their mobile phones or PDAs compared to 22m in the US. By 2006, Europe will have over 150m wireless gamers with Germany, followed by the UK then Italy, dominating in terms of numbers. In the US, Datamonitor estimates that the number of wireless gamers will grow to 124m in 2006 as new devices and services bring accessible gaming entertainment to all.

"Operators in Europe and the US are finally taking wireless gaming seriously. It has taken the correction and the threat of loosing popular content to collapsing startups for them to open their wallets and their systems. But now that they have, the industry is starting to thrive," said Peter Tyson, Datamonitor games analyst Favorite times of play are Evenings and Weekends It is commonly believed that wireless gamers play games on the trains and buses of their countries as a quick pass time or distraction. And indeed they do. However, not only does the wireless gamer want a quick-fix of entertainment when waiting for friends, commuting or bored of television. Datamonitor's research across Asia Pacific, Europe and the US, shows that the most popular time for people to play wireless games is on the weekends and in the evenings.

"Our research shows that wireless users are not playing games simply to pass time, they choose to play a game over and above other activities. Wireless games are not simple time wasters but are actively engaging users with fun content.

Furthermore, these gamers also frequently own a PC with Internet access. More than half of mobile gamers have Internet access and more than 80% of WAP phone owners use the Internet. Their game playing represents a choice of using their handsets for entertainment over devices arguably better suited for gameplay. Mobile interactive content is here to stay," said Tyson Downloadable games will be the dominant wireless game experience The success of downloadable ringtones and graphics will be repeated with wireless games. While the penetration of such technologies as Java 2 ME, Brew and ExEn will take time, by 2003 downloading content for a small charge will prove to be a lucrative revenue stream.

The familiar experience of downloading games and ease of use will see many users enjoying this wireless game experience. At the same time traditional developers will come to exploit this market, releasing for download wireless game versions of popular console and PC titles. The ability to then interconnect these devices as well as incorporate the wireless device's portability into gameplay will be fully explored. Datamonitor will be attending ECTS. Visitors attending this year's show can obtain more details about this report and the full offering of Datamonitor's Gaming Program by visiting the Datamonitor stand no. 1750.

About Datamonitor

Datamonitor plc is a premium business information company specializing in industry analysis. We help our clients, 5000 of the world's leading companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and in-depth forecasts for six industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Markets, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology. Datamonitor maintains its headquarters in London and has regional offices in New York, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.

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