IDC publishes report on mobile gaming market

Mobile gaming for wireless devices is providing new revenue opportunities for game developers, network operators, service providers and handset manufacturers, according to a recent study by market intelligence and advisory firm IDC - 'U.S. Wireless Gaming 2006-2010 Forecast'.

According to IDC, mobile game purchaser numbers will grow more than 16% annually, reaching nearly 50m customers by 2010, which is expected to significantly increase total mobile gaming revenue.

A recent IDC survey shows that 11% of respondents purchased at least one game for their wireless device in Q3 2006. Teens and adults under 24 years of age made up the core of this gaming constituency. For the quarter, IDC survey respondents reported spending an average of USD13.00 on wireless games, with reported spending inversely correlated with the purchaser's age. IDC predicts that the price per mobile game will rise more than USD2.50 by 2010 due partly to the impact of growing subscription revenues.

Over 75% of all games being purchased by respondents in Q3 2006 were based on a one-time unlimited use model, the survey shows. According to IDC, one-time purchased games is the largest category and will remain that way over the next four years but the company suggests that subscription-based channels will become more popular and represent a third of total revenue by 2010.

Game bundles, flat subscription fees that include access to multiple games, weekly game rentals, pay-per-play and other models compliment the standard one-time purchasing model or single-game monthly subscription model, claimed the research manager of IDC's Mobile Consumer Services.

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