E3, the global showcase for the interactive entertainment industry, drew a record crowd this year, supporting a healthy outlook despite the continuing shadow of piracy.
According to the show's organiser, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), more than 55,000 people attended the Los Angeles event - 33 per cent more than 1998. About 1,900 PC and video game titles were launched at the show.
The games industry promises continued growth, according to IDSA. In terms of games sold, revenue was $5.5 billion, up 25 per cent on the previous year. Rentals generated $800 million, taking the total revenue for 1998 to $6.3 billion.
However, software piracy is still a huge problem. According to an IDSA survey, 17 per cent of PC gamers and 20 per cent of console gamers said they would not have a problem purchasing counterfeit games. The games industry claims it loses an estimated $3.2 billion a year due to piracy.
IDSA claimed that despite this, the forecast for future sales is strong.
They will be fuelled by next-generation PlayStation, Nintendo and Sega consoles over the next 18 months and an increase in buying games online.
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