Net games outfits told to ditch free services

40 million online gamers by 2004

Online games companies have to look past the PC if they want to survive, according to IDC.

To grab a chunk of the 40 million households IDC expects to be playing games on the Web by 2004, outfits will need to aim their games at PDAs, next generation video game consoles, mobile phones and interactive TV platforms.

"Game design, partnerships, development of an infrastructure for supporting online operations, and a coherent business plan will be important," said Schelley Olhava, senior analyst for IDC consumer devices program.

Outfits touting games via the Web will also need to change their revenue model away from banner ads, and make money by either charging punters for their services, signing sponsorship deals, or getting into targeted ads, IDC says.

Licensing technology and co-branding games could also bring in cash. ®

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