Despite the fact that most publishers have been posting profit losses recently, a report issued by Gartner is claiming that money spent on gaming is on the increase. It will most likely hit $74b this year. By 2015 that figure is expected to rise to $112b.
A large part of the reason for this growth is the increasing ubiquity of smart phone usage.
“As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, gaming will remain a key component in the use of these devices," claimed Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Although they are never used primarily for gaming, mobile games are the most downloaded application category across most application stores. For this reason, mobile gaming will continue to thrive as more consumers expand their use of new and innovative portable connected devices.”
Online spending is experiencing the largest amount of growth, with free-to-play leading the way.
“We find that subscription fees are giving way to ‘freemium’ models, in which the game is provided for free to gamers but is monetized through advertising (both in-game advertising and display advertising) and in-game microtransactions, such as the sale of value-added services or virtual-good purchases,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. “This trend is prevailing given the rise of social gaming, in which online gaming is connected to social networking sites and social networking platforms.”