Online Gaming Set to Explode

Online Gaming Set to Explode Online Gaming Set to Explode

Over the next 5 years the number of people playing online games is set to explode. A new research report from DFC Intelligence forecasts that 114 million people worldwide are expected to be playing online games by the year 2006. Furthermore, online game usage is expected to increase nearly six-fold in that period. According to David Cole, president of DFC Intelligence, "online games should garner significant usage over the next few years. The major question mark is whether individual companies will be able to monetize that usage."

The report also discusses how top online games are now able to generate revenue in excess of $100 million each. The end of 2001 saw another major success story with the release of Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot, one of the fastest selling online games of all-time. This could bode well for some of the big budget online games being released in 2002, said Cole. However, Cole also notes that the online game market is still in its infancy and already there are substantially more products in development than the market can support.

Console Online Contribution

Up to now online games were played through a PC. Sensing the importance of the Online Factor for the future of gaming, console manufacturers are trying to get into that market. Much of the future of online gaming depends on the success of the consoles in that field. One important restriction to these services will, eventually, become the availability of broadband networks. In order to truly succeed, online console gaming will have to be available to everyone, everywhere on-demand. For the time being broadband connections are not available to all.

The report also looks closely at the issue of console online gaming. Microsoft's Xbox Live service is probably the biggest investment in online games yet. It is likely to be a major indicator of the future of console online gaming," said Cole. The report goes into detail about the difference between Microsoft's approach to online gaming and Sony and Nintendo's approach. DFC forecasts that by 2006 23 million consumers worldwide will be playing console games online.