Home Growth & Export Digital games market likely to double, thanks to ‘free-to-play’ mobile games

Digital games market likely to double, thanks to ‘free-to-play’ mobile games


The worth of the Asia Pacific digital games market will grow from $13 billion in 2011 to $30 billion in 2016, according to Ovum. Behind the growth is the rise of the casual gamer who uses platforms such as tablets and smartphones to play digital games.

According to Ovum’s Digital Games Forecast 2011-2016, the Asia Pacific digital games market will grow at a rate of 18% over the next five years. In 2016, the market will be worth $30 billion, more than the double its worth by the end of 2011 ($13 billion).

The main reason for this growth is the increase of casual games available in the market which appeal to a new type of gamer, one that has less time to play complex games and enjoys gaming on a more casual level.

“With the addition of more and more casual gamers, the market is no longer the sole preserve of the teen male hardcore gamer,” stated Ovum analyst Mark Little.

“Gaming is fast establishing itself with a much wider mainstream audience, with serious ramifications for other rich-media entertainment such as TV, video and music,” he added.

The growth of the digital games market is also linked to the growth of the mobile device market since most casual gamers use their smartphones and tablets to play their games.

According to Ovum, the mobile gaming market will triple over the next five years, becoming a $8.2 billion industry in 2016.

Revenue growth between 2011 and 2016 will in part also be fueled by the explosion of the free-to-play business model, which relies on micro-transactions and the purchase of virtual goods within the game instead of the traditional model where games must be fully bought in order to be played.

“Game publishers evolving strategy is turning game products into game services, extending product life with virtual content that continually refreshes a title’s ability to engage the gamer,” said Mark Little.

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