The latest forecast for the growth of the global games industry shows that the next four years are boom years, with a growth of $41.9 billion in global sales last year to a predicted $68.3 billion in 2012.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers data is drawn from the forthcoming Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012 report.
Console games up
Console games are predicted to grow by 6.9 percent annually, going from sales of $24.9 billion last year to $34.7 billion in 2012.
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Online and wireless games are predicted to have the fastest rate of growth over the next four years (16.9 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively), with the in-game advertising industry also predicted to reap massive rewards in the coming years, going from the $1 billion level in 2007 to $2.3 billion in 2012.
"That's phenomenal growth," PwC partner Stefanie Kane told Reuters, "especially considering that in-game advertising only works with certain kinds of games, sports being a primary example."
PC games down
Offline PC gaming is the only gaming sector predicted to fall in terms of revenue growth from $3.8 billion last year to $3.6 billion in 2012.
PricewaterhouseCoopers report lists the following factors that feed into the rapid growth of the games industry over the next four years:
* mobile phones capable of downloading games with sophisticated graphics and displaying them on relatively large screens;
* an online market driven by the increased penetration of broadband households;
* the increasing popularity of massively multi-player online games that earn revenue through subscription fees and micro-transactions.