Since 2002, Niko Partners been publishing reports, analysis, and articles about the China and Greater Southeast Asia games markets. We’ve put together this list of our most popular analysis of 2018, organized by topic.

You can also check our blog for frequent industry updates, articles and analysis, and subscribe to our free newsletter for each week’s most important news.

Regulations Update

2018 was the year of regulations in China. With the formation of a brand-new gaming regulator, China saw a temporary game license approval freeze that had a notable impact on companies operating in the market. The freeze came to end just before the close of 2018, as we had forecast in August. We published a number of articles to help readers understand the full extent of the temporary game license approval freeze. The top 5 are:

What’s behind the lack of game approvals in China

Game Approval Freeze and MoE recommendations

Update on China’s Game Licensing Freeze

China forms Online Game Ethics Committee

Tencent rolls out mobile game anti addiction system

Company Updates

In order to stay up to date on the market, Niko Partners continually tracks the performance of game publishers, developers and hardware makers. This year we attended and gave presentations at several games industry events, to cover the latest and greatest news and announcements. Here is a round-up of our articles and free reports focused on companies operating in China and GSEA:

Sony’s 2018 ChinaJoy Press Conference

Garena’s largest esports event in Southeast Asia

Tencent Games Strategy Report

NetEase Games Strategy Report

Tencent and NetEase’s earnings for Q3 2018

New Trends

2018 was a year of new trends, such as battle royale, mini games, blockchain games, serious games as well as continuation of trends from 2017, such as esports. The leading articles on these trends are:

Tencent and NetEase go head to head in the battle royale genre

China Mobile Game Trends H1 2018

Tencent launches WeChat Mini Games

Tencent explores Serious Games

Blockchain Games in China

Esports in Asia and what it means for the West

Syndicated Research Reports

We published 7 robust syndicated reports in 2018. These reports provided our market models, market share estimates, analysis and data on gamer behaviour, gamer preferences, hot genres, competition, M&A activity, gamer spending and more.

China Gamer Segmentation Study

The Chinese Gamer Segmentation Study provides the first comprehensive look at who Chinese gamers really are. This report brings together our expertise built on 16 years of analysis in the Asia games market with study partner Quantic Foundry’s Gamer Motivation Model and data science methods to produce a first-of-its-kind, in-depth study into the motivations and behaviors of Chinese gamers.

China Mobile Games Report

Our analysis shows that China will enjoy strong growth in digital gamers and games revenue in the next 5 years. China’s mobile games market is projected to grow from $16 billion in 2018 to $24.7 billion in domestic revenue by 2022. China is by far the world’s largest mobile games market and makes up more than 25% of global mobile games revenue.

China PC Games Report

China is the world’s largest and most important market for PC online games. There were more than 300 million PC online gamers in 2017, with close to 350 million projected by 2022. China is the single most important market in the world for PC online games. The report explains our analysis on where that growth will come from, which segments are hot now and growing, and what the impact on the holistic games industry will be.

China TV & Console Games Report

China overturned its console ban in 2014, which led to both Sony and Microsoft officially launching consoles in the country. China’s market for game consoles is often overlooked, because the revenue is much lower than for the key segments of PC Online Gaming and Mobile Gaming. Sony, Microsoft, domestic competitors, and others are active in China and sales have surpassed 3/4 of a billion dollars. Despite the barriers to entry, success is profitable.

China Games Market H1 2018 Update

Niko Partners’ China Market Model Half-Year Update adjusts the 5-year forecast for both PC online and mobile games revenue in mainland China and explains the trends of the past half-year that caused the adjustment. The report includes a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast through 2022 by games segment for both PC online and mobile games, as well as the trends we have observed in China for the past 6 months

GSEA Mobile Games Report

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. Improvements in internet infrastructure as well as disposable income, coupled with demand for esports games, tournaments, streaming, and more, have set the stage for continued growth in the next 5 years.

GSEA PC Games Report

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. The region represents a huge opportunity however each country’s different culture, gamer preferences, and spending behaviors means there is no one size fits all approach to the region.

Looking forward to 2019

Niko Partners will continue to publish new content on the China and Greater Southeast Asia games market in 2019. We currently cover eight markets: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei). This year we will add India to the list of countries that we cover.

If you’d like to learn more about these markets in 2019:

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