A new study from US analyst firm IDC claims that online revenue is set to treble by the end of the year to reach $583 million in North America, and that online revenues are growing faster than any other sector within the global games industry.
Next-Gen quotes IDC's Billy Pidgeon as stating: By the end of 2007, over 31 percent of online capable videogame consoles in North America will be in active online use by 14 million online console gamers.
In North America alone, online console revenue will triple from $133 million in 2006 to $583 million in 2007.”
The main growth driver is said to be Xbox Live subscriptions, downloadable content and in-game advertising.
While software sales are still significant, increasing from $8 billion in 2006 to $9.5 billion this year, content sold, accessed or downloaded online to videogame consoles over manufacturers' proprietary networks will remain the industry's most exciting growth opportunity in this hardware cycle,” he added.