Teens take to wireless gaming

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Teens take to wireless gaming

Better handsets and more flexible billing drive uptake.

The number of people buying mobile games in the US will grow by more than 16 percent annually to reach 50 million by 2010, according to the latest research.

IDC's US Wireless Gaming 2006-2010 Forecast said that improved handset technology, flexible billing mechanisms and greater availability of 3G networks is improving the mobile gaming experience and enticing more consumers to jump on board.

Subscription-based wireless games could give a much needed technological and revenue boost to game developers, network operators, service providers, handset manufacturers and "other players in the value chain".

The IDC survey showed that 11 percent of respondents purchased at least one game for their wireless device in the third quarter of 2006. Teens and adults under 24 years of age made up the core of this gaming constituency.

"Flexible discovery and billing mechanisms are emerging trends making mobile game purchases easier and more attractive to consumers," said Lewis Ward, research manager for IDC's Mobile Consumer Services: Entertainment service.

"Game bundles, flat subscription fees with access to multiple games, weekly game rentals, pay-per-play and other models complement the standard one-time purchasing model or single-game monthly subscription model."
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