Games lead the way in online sales

Steam, MMOs, broadband take credit

Games are leading the way in the digital distribution stakes, the industry's efforts far out-stripping those of the music or film businesses. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, games made 3.8 billion USD online in 2006 - with the same organisation predicting a rise to 11.8 billion by 2011.

Strategy Analytics, who sound terribly important, also believe that one-third of all software sales took place online. Streets ahead of the film and music industries.

"The rapid growth of the addressable market for digital distribution of both PC and console games will clear the way for distribution of mainstream hit titles which has up to now been restricted to the physical retail channel," explained Martin Olausson, chief research mind.

MMOs have helped digital distribution, apparently, as well as an increase in broadband connections.

Beyond the obvious example of Steam, a number of other firms like EA and Ubisoft have begun looking at ways to deliver their games online, with many analysts foreseeing this delivery method as the future.

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