BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As E3, the world’s biggest video games event, prepares to open its doors in Los Angeles, CA, new forecasts published by Strategy Analytics’ Digital Media Strategies service confirm the industry’s coming transition to digital or online business models. The report, “Global Video Game Market Forecast: 2011,” predicts that North American retail revenues from digital and mobile games will reach $10.8 billion in 2012, compared to $9.0 billion from physical media (discs). The next generation of games consoles, beginning with the Wii’s successor, to be introduced at E3, are likely to feature improved online and social networking capabilities, more abundant online games content, as well as cloud-based gaming services, the report predicts.
“Discs are not dead,” notes Jia Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “But digital is where the growth opportunities lie. Revenues from physical media will remain broadly flat over the coming five years, while income from digital and mobile games will nearly double over the same period.”
In the near term, Strategy Analytics predicts a positive outlook for the North American games industry. 2011 revenues are expected to reach $18.4 billion, a 5.8% increase on 2010. But the trend to digital is already well set: physical media revenues this year are actually expected to fall by nearly 8%, while the online/digital business is predicted to expand by more than 34%.
Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research, added, “Despite the recent security breaches of the PlayStation Network, the role of an online and social game service remains paramount to any future games platform. We expect digital revenues to comprise a quarter of the entire console games business by 2016.”
The research analyses and segments all major games platforms, including PC, home and portable console, and mobile phone; and includes revenue and volume projections for key national markets across the North America, EMEA, APAC and Latin America regions.
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