|the market research group In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com) has produced a report on the online gaming industry that indicates significant “backbone traffic,” or business done on the Internet, between now and 2007. “Online Gaming Affects More Than You Think” (#IN030683IA) is said to “peal back the myths behind online gaming and breaks it down into real world numbers that every company needs. From the money to be made, to the number of subscribers, this groundbreaking study covers online gaming from all angles.”|
The report reports that first hundreds of millions, and eventually billions, of dollars in business will be seen in online gaming, and it is still in its embryonic state. Though online gaming “won’t take over the world,” the report declares that as little as 10% of the game consoles playing for as little as five hours a week “could consume more than 5% of all of the American [alone] Backbone Traffic by the end of 2003.”
“Online gaming is a real industry, which will make real money, and has some fairly significant consequences for the companies involved,” says Eric Mantion, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. He points out that the biggest risk any company “that is even marginally affected by online gaming is to dismiss it out of hand or put plans on the backburner until they think it matures. There are a lot of companies that are working very hard to grow this industry quickly so, odds are, they will help to move things along, faster than some expect.”
Mantion added that broadband service providers are at “most risk for not only missing an opportunity for additional revenues in the long run, but also having their networks being negatively affected by this online gaming trend, in the short run, if they don't act soon.
The In-Stat/MDR report also found that in 2002 online gaming accounted for an estimated 9% of the traffic sent back and forth over the US backbone. As games themselves improve, so will their popularity, both in terms of hours used and in numbers of customers using them. Microsoft's Xbox Online Live service is the “boldest” featured so far.