Big Games

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 09:04:39 -0800

Online gaming industry to be a big market, $2.9B in the US alone.
Key factors driving the growth? What else, increased broadband access,
consoles with network abilities, and just simply more people figuring
out how to get online. The largest part of the market is not hard-core
gamers, but light diversionists who like to play trivia and puzzle games.

Online games could yield $4.9 bln by 2004 - report

Posted at 6:25 a.m. PST Monday, December 13, 1999
LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Online game-playing could be worth almost $5 billion within
four years in the United States and Europe as a growing number of web-surfers come out to
play, according to a Datamonitor report released on Monday.

The U.S. market will be the largest with an estimated $2.8 billion by 2004 while the western
European market, having played catch-up in the dash to the Net, will be worth around $2.1
billion, the report said.

Rising Internet penetration will be the main driver in the growth, while special gaming
consoles such as the recently launched Sega Dreamcast will contribute to expansion in the
industry, worth around $82 million in 1999.

``While this market used to be the domain of a handful of die-hard gamers, faster networking
technologies and cheaper Internet usage will turn it into a mainstream form of online
entertainment,'' Frederic Diot, senior analyst at Datamonitor, said in a statement.

The report said the market would split into hard-core gamers interested in modern video
games and casual gamers looking for the light diversion of trivia and classic cames, who
would represent the largest part of the market.

The British business world is waking up to the potential of playing games online. Last week,
British pay TV operator BSkyB Plc joined British Telecommunications Plc as a 10 percent
shareholder in UK game portal Plc.

Greg Bolcer
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