Hampshire, England – Booming popularity of casual gaming, combined with a steadily increasing variety of gaming-friendly handsets offering high quality 3D graphics aimed at core gamers, will help drive revenues from mobile games to nearly US$10 billion in 2009. So says Jupiter Research, which estimates more than 460 million mobile users will be downloading games by 2009, more than double the current number. Much of this growth will be generated by emerging markets such as the Indian sub-continent, where the number of users will rise from 10 million in 2007 to nearly 40 million in 2009. China and the Far East will remain the largest regional market for mobile games, with revenues rising from nearly $2.7 billion this year to $5.7 billion by 2012. “Game downloads have already overtaken those of ringtones in a number of Western European markets, while mobile handsets are now the de facto games console in many developing countries,” says Jupiter’s Dr Windsor Holden. However, Juniper warns that the high cost of browsing and downloading services and content, combined with “opaque” pricing structures, are a disincentive to service adoption. It urges operators and publishers to expand the number of games they offer on a free trial basis, reasoning that with zero entry cost, a greater number of consumers may play the game and ultimately convert to being paid customers.
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