Singapore – The mood was generally buoyant on the opening day of the second Games Convention Asia (GCA), being held 18-20 September 2008 at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Running parallel to the exhibition, the GCA Conference comprises 50 sessions and panels, featuring 70 speakers from 20 countries. First day keynotes were from Michael de Plater (Ubisoft) and Peter Molyneux (Lionhead Studios). According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012, in 2007, the consumer trend in Asia Pacific shows that the region is still the largest market for video games with $14.8 billion in revenues, and this figure is expected to grow to $25.3 billion by 2012. Comparing across the regions, the Europe and Asia-Pacific market will both grow at 11.3%, whereas the US will grow at lower rate of 7.6%. “Asia Pacific is currently the largest market for the video game industry and we are expecting broadband proliferation and mobility to continue to drive tremendous growth in the region. Gamers will increasingly take up multiplayer online options and such developments will provide the opportunity for new business models and additional revenue streams for the industry,” stated Greg Unsworth of PricewaterhouseCoopers. But panelists discussing mobile gaming were surprisingly downbeat – on revenues in particular. While take up of gaming via mobile is extremely high, panelists said that revenue models are still unclear in many markets and high data transfer charges are proving a barrier to entry.
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