The top 10 online games operators in Asia earned over $2bn last year, a figure that is set to rise 25 per cent by 2008, new research predicts.
China is an especially rich market for regional games operators. The most successful games can make more than $120m for the companies behind them, according to consultancy Pearl Research.
"There are more than 400 million internet users across Asia, representing an untapped market for content," Pearl Research analysts wrote in a new market study.
"Growth will be driven by emerging markets such as China, Vietnam and India which have a large youth population and have experienced a rapid rise in internet and PC penetration, in addition to increasing urbanisation."
Ten online games publishers in Asia passed the $100m revenue mark in 2006 for the first time, according to Pearl Research.
The consultancy forecasts this figure to reach 13 by 2008, as the region's online games market continues to expand. The 10 leading games firms will share more than $2.5bn in revenue in 2008, the company's analysts predict.
The region's leading games firms include Korea's NCsoft, which operates popular games like Lineage and City of Heroes, and The9, which makes more than $1m a day as World of Warcraft operator in China.
Among Asia's other major games markets, Japan's console-focused gamers are beginning to pay more attention to online games, Pearl Research said.
Meanwhile, among smaller emerging markets, games operators in Thailand and Vietnam are beginning to attract investment.
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