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MOBILE GAMING TO TOP $1 BILLION IN '04
Copyright 2004 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ October 28th 2004 ]

Video game and mobile phone companies are set to make money this year as customers use phones to zap space invaders or sink game-winning golf putts, pushing the mobile gaming market over $1 billion, a study said. According to London-based consultancy Screen Digest, mobile phone gaming also will grow by more than six times to $6.4 billion between 2004 and the end of decade. Currently, Japan and Korea are well ahead of North America and Europe in market size, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all revenues derived from video game play and game downloads, Screen Digest said on Thursday.

A confusing maze of tariffs for downloads and gameplay charged by mobile operators in Europe is depressing early growth in the region, Screen Digest said. "We think the mobile operators in Europe have not yet got the strategies right to exploit this market to its full potential," said Screen Digest chief analyst Ben Keen. The firm added that North America, despite having a less sophisticated mobile phone market than Europe and Asia, is expected to grow at a faster clip than those regions.

Compared to the booming video games business, the nascent market for mobile-phone gaming has only recently begun to show signs of life as a new breed of sophisticated handsets has hit the market and more gaming companies have developed top titles for the small screen. Earlier this year, gaming giant Electronic Arts said it will boost production of video games for mobile phones over the next year, bringing four top-selling titles including "Fifa Football" and "The Sims" to handsets. Rivals Eidos, Ubisoft and THQ Inc. have been investing more money into the promising market as well.

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