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Apple’s iPhone will be the games industry’s favorite platform going forward, according to a survey just conducted of industry executives and interested readers.

The survey also found that micro-transactions, such as purchases of virtual goods in online games, are expected to have the highest impact on the video game industry in the next five years.

The results are from VentureBeat’s first game industry survey, conducted on the eve of our GamesBeat 2009 conference being held tomorrow in San Francisco.

When asked what would impact the game industry most, more than 66 percent of respondents answered micro-transactions.

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61 percent of respondents chose the iPhone — not surprising, given the rapid rise of Apple’s iPhone as a game platform. There are more than 6,800 games available on the iPhone now. And beyond the iPhone, there’s the prospect of more games on platforms such as Google Android, Palm Pre, Windows Mobile and Nokia N-Gage.

43 percent of respondents said user-generated content would have the most impact. And advertising revenue and voice recognition brought up the rear at 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively. The trends in the survey pretty much match what is being funded out there.

Among game platforms, our survey respondents saw the iPhone as having the most potential (74 percent), followed by social networks (64 percent), casual web-based (62 percent), and consoles (57 percent).

The "Mapping the Future of the Game Industry" survey results are based on more than 160 responses coming from people registered to attend GamesBeat 09, our network of game industry professionals, and visitors to the VentureBeat web site. Attendees of GamesBeat 09 will receive further details of the survey after the conference, which takes place Tuesday at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco.

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