Screen Digest's "Wireless Gaming Business Models -- Opportunities for publishers, developers and network operators" also found that Japan and Korea, once regarded as the power houses of the mobile games industry, have seen their position eroded. During 2005, the Western markets of Europe and in particular the US have seen rapid growth ? now accounting for 52 percent of mobile games revenues.
The report argues that console and PC game publishers are being eclipsed in the market by companies dedicated to mobile games. Jamdat of the U.S. and Gameloft of France accounted for almost 30% of games download revenues in the U.S. and Europe during 2004.
David MacQueen, Screen Digest games analyst and author of the report states, "By examining real company revenues, we have been able to define an accurate market share for mobile games companies in the U.S. and Europe. While no-one in the industry will be shocked to see Jamdat top in the US and Gameloft top in Europe, there are a few surprises, not least the relative weakness of the 'traditional' videogames publishers. THQ Wireless is the only company from that space to have carved out a significant slice of the pie."
Venture capital has been flowing into the mobile gaming industry at a rapid rate, with $500m being invested in the market since 1999. Worldwide games revenues is forecast to hit $8bn by 2010 and games enabled handsets to increase to 2 billion.
MacQueen added, "Mobile gaming has arrived and is delivering results for investors and operators. The worldwide market was worth $995m in 2004, and our data shows that in 2005, the market will have almost doubled to reach $2bn in revenues. This is great news for investors, from whom we have tracked over half a billion dollars worth of investment since 1999. As operator voice revenues worldwide have slowed, the importance of mobile data has markedly increased, and games are delivering sizable revenues. The importance of this sector will continue to grow."