Spending on video games around the globe will grow from $74 billion in 2011 to $112 billion by 2015, according to market researcher Gartner.

In 2011, Gartner estimates that spending will be up 10.4 percent compared to $67 billion in 2010. That represents a healthy level of growth, despite the fact that some of the traditional categories of games, such as consoles, have seen slower growth recently.

Software sales will be $44.7 billion of the total $74 billion in 2011, while hardware will be $17.8 billion. Online gaming will be $11.9 billion. Gartner estimates that game hardware sales will be constant through 2015, while software sales will drop and online gaming will grow at a 27 percent annual growth rate through 2015.

But the mix of online games will change. Subscription fees will decline slightly, while spending on virtual goods will grow exponentially. In 2015, software spending will be $56.5 billion, hardware will be $27.4 billion, and online games will be $28.3 billion.

“As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, gaming will remain a key component in the use of these devices,” said Tuong Nguyen, analyst at Gartner.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com. Our sponsors include Qualcomm, Flurry, Greystripe, Nexage, Tapjoy, Fun Mobility, TriNet, Zong, Sibblingz, Open Feint, Spil Games and WildTangent.