Emerging PAL markets worth 1.9bn

Key emerging retail markets in the PAL region were worth €1.9 billion in 2009, thanks to significant growth in games retail.

That’s according to the latest research from Screen Digest, which looked at several emerging games markets such as Russia, Greece, Poland, South Africa, Poland, India, Turkey and the Middle East.

The report showed that games software sales were estimated to be 12 per cent higher than the €0.9 billion recorded in 2008 – a promising result when compared to the 4.4 per cent decline experienced in Western Europe.

Screen Digest attributes the growth to the development of shopping centres and malls in several of these territories, as well as the influx of Western retailers including Media Markt, Auchan and Carrefour.

With ongoing improvements in games distribution and retail, these emerging markets offer publishers an increasingly realistic commercial opportunity to tap into,” said Screen Digest’s head of games Piers Harding-Rolls.

Difficulties remain – cost of localisation and piracy are particularly challenges – but with careful selection of content and distribution, games sales in these territories can offer useful incremental revenue.”

Across the PAL markets studied, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and PSP boast the biggest installed base in terms of software sales, although PC games remain more popular in Russia and Poland.

The PlayStation brands dominate most markets thanks to Sony’s established presence in certain countries, although Microsoft has become more competitive by developing its games business in Russia, Poland and South Africa.

Nintendo has yet to invest as much in these markets as Sony and Microsoft, but the success of the Wii has given the platform holder a foothold in Greece, South Africa and Turkey.

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