Game Sales, Box-Office Receipts, & Mobile Gaming

As the Economist points out, there is nothing the game industry likes more than noisily reminding us all how games sales exceed box office receipts. But as the Economist says, the two are not really comparable:

Film-going is mainstream: nearly everybody does it at some time. Around 10m people saw “The Incredibles” last weekend, and perhaps 50m people will see it in cinemas eventually. Even more will view it on television, DVD, or on a plane. Playing video games is still a minority sport, though its popularity has soared. Not everybody wants a games console. It is only because games cost so much more than film tickets ($50 versus $7) that games can outsell films, despite their narrower appeal.

What will it take to make the stat more meaningful? Well, lower games prices, no need for a consule, and greater market penetration would all help:

All of that describes mobile-phone gaming. Having moved from the bedroom to the living room, gaming is now moving on to the mobile handset, says Brian Greasley of Digital Bridges, a mobile-games firm.

According to the latest Mobinet study of 4,500 mobile users in 13 countries by A.T. Kearney, a consultancy, and the Judge Institute of Management at Cambridge University, the number of people who download games to their phones grew in the past year to 10% of the world’s 1.7 billion mobile users, exceeding the number of console users.