Getting Serious About Gaming

Everyone knows video gaming is a growth industry. What's less well known is how Web 2.0 and big business are contributing to that growth

Like happening upon a gnome in the online fantasy game World of Warcraft or breaking the speed limit in Grand Theft Auto, PricewaterhouseCoopers' June analysis of the growth of the global video game industry is hardly surprising. In its annual report "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2007-2011," the financial firm predicts the video game market will continue to expand at a compound annual rate of 9.1% over the next five years. Other reports, such as the NPD Group's annual report on the U.S. gaming industry, show similar growth.

"It's not something that has snuck up on us," says Stefanie Kane, a partner with PwC's Entertainment & Media Practice. "Video games continue to be one of the fastest-driving segments of the market, no matter what region you look at." The surprise, more likely, will be that the video game industry grows even faster than these analysts predict, flexing its muscle across the entertainment industry and beyond.

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