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Online Gaming Revenue To Rocket To $3.5 Billion By 2009: Report

Online gaming is about to enter a period of substantial growth, according to a new report from Parks Associates, with revenues expected to more than triple by 2009.

The report, "Networked Gaming: Driving the Future" predicts that online gaming revenues will rise from $1.1 billion this year to more than $3.5 billion by 2009 as networked gaming technologies and digital distribution drive industry diversification. According to Parks Associates, almost half of all gaming revenues in 2009 will come from networked gaming services, including online console gaming, massively multiplayer online gaming (MMOG), multiplayer Internet and mobile gaming, and mobile multiplayer gaming. Game downloads will account for 23% of revenues.

"The gaming industry is definitely learning valuable lessons from the video industry -- syndicated game networks such as GameTap can extend a game's release window and in-game advertising can lead to innovative business models such as free MMOG," Parks Associates director of broadband and gaming Yuanzhe Cai said in a statement. "Furthermore, we believe more game publishers and service providers will find ways to monetize the in-game economy, instead of fighting against it."

Indeed, Park said that networked gaming will help the industry break its dependence on retail sales. The report also concludes that on-demand game delivery will complement more traditional delivery models.