These were the top stories on the China and Greater Southeast Asia games market
In case you missed them the first time around, we’ve rounded up our most popular articles from 2017, both from our own blog and from publications we contribute to.
Since 2002, we’ve been publishing reports, analysis, and articles about the China and Southeast Asia games markets. In 2017, we expanded our coverage to Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).
Tencent was top of mind with most of the industry and our readers were no exception. Mobile games, esports, regulations, Honor of Kings, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds also garnered their fair share of the attention.
Click on the titles to read the articles in full.
Tencent had a record year in 2016 as it saw game revenues increase 25% YoY to 70,844 million RMB / $10.2 billion USD. This makes Tencent the world’s largest games company for the fourth year in a row and it’s worth bearing in mind that the $10.2 billion number doesn’t include revenues generated by Supercell who was purchased by Tencent in 2016. This article looks at how Tencent has been able to maintain its dominance in the games industry.
The 4 great things every mobile esports title needs – February 2017
This article looks at the growth of mobile esports and the 4 things that publishers need to consider when bringing a mobile esport title to market. The fast growth of mobile gamers in China has led to mobile devices being used for both eSports viewership and participation, something that hasn’t yet happened in the West. The Chinese government was quick to recognize the growing Mobile eSports market and the Ministry of Culture created the Mobile eSports Game Association in early 2016.
Honor of Kings dominates mobile esports in China – April 2017
Mobile esports is a fast growing sector thanks to Tencent’s Honor of Kings. This article looks at how Tencent have found success with the King Pro League in 2017. The 2017 season follows in the footsteps of the 2016 season which was watched by more than 70 million people. Tencent is aiming to build a better esports ecosystem allowing for more teams, more players, increased marketing, celebrity hosts and more. Tencent is also using this season to create a better structure for the King Pro League to fully legitimize the game as an esport and to grow the overall games industry.
China’s symbiotic PC & Mobile game markets – May 2017
A notable trend in China’s digital games market is successful PC to mobile game adaptations. What we have seen is that hardcore PC-based MMORPGs, for the most part, have been relaunched as mobile games, and this is a trend that is relevant in 2017. This article looks at some of the most popular games that are PC to Mobile game adaptations and explains why they are popular as well as the benefit that publishers see. Whilst these games are important to growth in the market, we note that games based on new IP are just as important today.
Honor of Kings restricts online play for minors – July 2017
The largest games company in the world, Tencent, made headlines in 2017 after it introduced restrictions in Honor of Kings that affected minors. This came after regulators and news articles emphasised that games were causing minors to become overly addicted to them. This article looks at the restrictions that were introduced and their impact in the short term and long term.
According to Tencent’s Q1 2017 financial release dated 17 May 2017, total online games revenue in the first quarter was 22,800 million RMB ($3,360 million). That’s $3 billion in one quarter alone, just from online games! The financial report says that PC client-based games revenue was 14,100 million RMB ($2,070 million) and mobile games revenue was 12,900 million RMB ($1,900 million) – and clearly this does not add up to 22,800 million. This caused confusion among financial and industry analysts following the Chinese games market and major game publishers: 14,100+12,900=27,000 ($3,980 million), but the total was only 22,800 ($3,360 million). This report explains where the additional $620 million comes from.
Will China ban Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds? – October 2017
A recent statement from the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing association (CADPA) at the end of last year thrust Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds into the spotlight with many speculating that the game could be banned in China. After careful review, we stated in this article that the CADPA statement isn’t what it appears to be. As it turns out, we were correct and China continues to receive licenses for Battle Royale games, including PUBG itself.
Sony PlayStation in China – 2 years on – May 2017
Sony celebrated two years of PlayStation in China during 2017. The console originally launched in China mainland back in March 2015 and since then, Sony and rival Microsoft have been trying to grow the appeal of consoles in the country. This article looks at how console manufacturers have fared in the country since launch. So far, consoles have struggled to sell in large quantities, yet Sony is doing better than any other console manufacturer in China due to the reasons listed in the article.
Analysis of Tencent and NetEase’s Q3 2017 financial results – November 2017
This report looks at the extremely successful quarters that Tencent and NetEase reported during Q3 last year. The primary driver of growth in the quarter for Tencent’s smartphone segment was Honor of Kings, Tencent’s 5v5 MOBA game that has over 50 million daily users in China. NetEase reported that it’s gaming segment was also driving growth thanks to the continued success of games such as Fantasy Westward Journey, Onmyoji and New Ghost.
SouthEast Asia’s mobile games market is booming – November 2017
Southeast Asia’s mobile games market is booming, representing a lucrative opportunity for mobile developers and publishers. Huge numbers of avid gamers, lower user acquisition costs, the prevalence of the English language, and a relatively open market for new entrants all make the region very attractive. The number of mobile gamers in Southeast Asia is set to grow from 170 million at the end of this year to 250 million by 2021. Likewise, revenue is projected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2017 to $2.4 billion in the same timeframe, faster than previously forecast.
Overseas developers find success in Taiwan – November 2017
The largest games market in the Greater Southeast Asia region, Taiwan is very different from mainland China and the rest of Southeast Asia in terms of gamer behaviour, local game development, and the types of games in demand. However, one similarity is the popularity of mobile games. Mobile games comprise 53% of total games revenue and are projected to rise to 60%, with more than half of Taiwan’s population playing mobile games by 2021.
We also released a number of syndicated reports last year. These reports provided an update on our market models, market share estimates, analysis and data on gamer behaviour, demands, spending and more. The list of releases is below.
Click on the titles to see more information and topline data.
We released our China Digiyal Games Market Data Report in 2016 that contains a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast through 2021, The report includes qualitative and quantitative analysis on gamer demand, behavior, and usage for PC online, mobile and TV-based games. Our analysis shows that China will enjoy strong growth in digital gamers and games revenue in the next 5 years, to reach $35 billion USD in domestic revenue by 2021.
With more than 200 million fans and the most top competitors and teams, China dominates the global esports market and is also the most advanced in terms of esports infrastructure and venues. Many of China’s leading companies are investing billions to grow the market. This report explains our analysis on the factors that are driving and inhibiting growth as well as which companies, games, and competitors, both foreign and domestic, are important.
With more than $14 billion in domestic mobile games revenue projected by 2021, China is the single most important market in the world for mobile games. This report looks at the great opportunity for global game developers and publishers to reach China’s more than 500 million gamers. However, regulations and other factors make it challenging for foreign companies to launch mobile games in China – it’s critical to understand the market and take the right steps.
PC online games remain at the heart of China’s digital games market. With more than $15 billion generated in 2016 and new growth projected each year, the PC online games market in China presents a great opportunity for global game developers and publishers. This report looks at the factors driving and inhibiting growth as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis on PC gamer behavior.
Our analysis shows that although TV-based gaming in China is currently a small part of the overall market, it represents a significant new avenue for spending and a path to the living room of billions of households. This report explains our analysis on the factors that are driving and inhibiting growth as well as which platforms and publishers, both foreign and domestic, are important.
Virtual reality has been embraced in China and Chinese consumers have shown a willingness to go out and purchase VR devices or experiences, whereas consumer interest in the West has been considerably more muted. As the world’s most important market for VR, China is actively investing in the promising mobile and high-end segments of VR for gaming and many of the leading Chinese tech companies are embracing VR in earnest. This report explains our analysis on the factors that are driving growth as well as which technologies, companies, and games are important.
This report contains a comprehensive analysis of the Southeast Asia region as a whole and by individual country, including: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Mobile games are growing considerably faster in Southeast Asia than PC online games, with mobile games revenue surpassing PC games revenue in by 2018.x
Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest growing region for PC online games revenue. The region is also home to the fastest growing market for esports. Teams, tournaments, and investment are all hot in the region, with no sign of slowing down. Investment in the region by multinational companies and country governments will continue to boost this growth. Further, while the regulatory landscape is more relaxed than China, several countries have regulations that do impact strategy for the region.
As the largest games market in Greater Southeast Asia, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) is a market in its own right and very distinct from mainland China and the rest of Southeast Asia in terms of gamer behavior, local game development, and types of games in demand. The market continues to grow across both PC online and mobile games, and esports is heating up with significant investment entering the space. With a clearer regulatory landscape than mainland China, the Taiwan market represents a lucrative opportunity for international competitors but it requires a different approach and understanding.