A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that the video game industry will hit $68.3 billion in global sales by 2012, a "compound annual growth" of 10.3% from its current $41.9 billion. Reuters reports PwC's "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012" also envisions that console gaming will remain the largest category, with a 6.9% annual increase to $34.7 billion, but that the two separate categories of online and "wireless" (mobile?) will grow the fastest, from around $6 billion to $14 billion. Meanwhile, the poor PC keeps taking a beating, with game sales expected to fall around 1.2% annually to 3.6 billion. The article doesn't really explain where the fiscally nebulous world of digital distribution exists in all of this.
Games sales aren't the only thing to see tremendous growth, as the study also found that the "emerging" video game advertising sector will grow from its current $1 billion to $2.3 billion in the next five years. The PwC study imagines that the things leading the growth of the games industry is the sophistication of mobile phones, an acceleration of homes with broadband, and the increasing popularity of MMO games. If you're young and have disposable income, consider buying a couple shares in your favorite game company instead of one of its games -- it appears your investment will be rewarded.