What you’ll learn from this report:

Niko’s China Games Market 2023 Half-Year Update Report delivers an updated market forecast based on the current market, economy, new regulations and approvals, as well as ongoing trends in China’s gaming industry. The report also covers new trends in 2023, looks ahead to 2024, and provides insight on how to tap into the recovering market. It updates the Niko Partners primary China Games Market Reports (PC, Mobile and Console) for their market size and 5-year forecasts through 2027.

Key takeaways from the analysis:

  • Niko Partners projects 2023 video game software and services revenue will reach $47.76 billion, up 5.2% YoY. The increase comes after a 2.5% decline in 2022, indicating that 2023 is a year of recovery.
    • Total gamers will reach 710.3 million, up 1.63% YoY and Monthly ARPU will reach $5.60.
  • Notable drivers of growth in 2023 include: The return to a regular cadence of game approvals, an increased number of successful new game launches, higher spending on legacy titles, and continued access to unlicensed games on PC & console, among others.
    • However, the growth will be partially offset by the weak Yuan and other macroeconomic challenges.
  • China’s video game market will surpass $56.7 billion in 2027, growing at a 5-Year CAGR of 4.5%, in line with our June 2023 forecast.
  • There will be 734.6 million gamers in 2027, growing at a 5-Year CAGR of 1.0%, also in line with our June 2023 forecast.
  • Key growth areas in 2024 and beyond will include the integration of AI-generated content and gaming, new game launches driven by the normalization of game approvals, higher spending in game, and esports industry growth, among others.
  • The NPPA has approved a total of 844 domestic and import video games in 2023 through October 30. This is already higher than the 512 and 755 games approved in 2022 and 2021, respectively.
  • Chinese game companies have reduced investment in external studios this year, instead opting to focus on internal expansion through the creation of new owned studios.
  • Total viewers and tips for Douyu, Huya and Bilibili (China Game Live Streaming Platforms) have increased by 6.2% YoY and 12.7% YoY for the period between Jan-Sep 2023, according to data from Niko’s China Games & Streaming Tracker.
  • China is the largest esports market in the world with over 400 million fans and $445 million in industry revenue. The lifting of COVID controls in China has led to 53% of esports events held in person or in a hybrid format this year, according to data from Niko’s Asia & MENA Esports Tracker.

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2023

30+ slides

Available as an add-on to our China Market Reports.
$2,500 with purchase of China PC, Mobile or Console Games Market Report
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COMPANION REPORTS

OTHER CHINA REPORTS

  • Executive Summary​
  • China Games Market Model Update
    • China Overall Market Model
    • Mobile Games Market Model
    • PC Games Market Model
    • Console Games Market Model
  • 2023 in Review
    • Overall market review
    • Game approvals
    • Top mobile games titles
    • Popular genres
    • Casual competitive games
    • International expansion of China game companies
  • Mobile & PC Game Rankings
    • Top 20 iOS games in China (Q1-Q3 2023)
    • Top 20 Steam games in China by revenue chart (2023)
    • Top 20 icafe games chart in 2023
  • Esports, Streaming & Internet Cafes
    • China’s esports industry overall review
    • Stats on China’s game livestreams
    • Rebound of icafes
  • Financial, M&A, and Regulations
    • Revenue data and growth of Chinese public game companies
    • Video-game related M&A and investment deals
    • Updates to video game related regulations (H2 2023)
  • Export Games
    • Revenue data and growth of Top 100 export mobile games
  • Appendix
    • Methodology​
    • Genre list
    • Glossary
  • About Niko
    • NPPA licensing and license forecasts
    • Investment activity
  • China Weekly online hours of internet users
  • China GDP Growth Through Q3 2023
  • Import ISBN licenses by origin country (2023)
  • 2023 Monthly ISBNs (Domestic & Import)
  • Cumulative views for Valorant on streaming sites (Millions)
  • Increased esports engagement = higher spending
  • Naraka Bladepoint daily concurrent players on Steam
  • China iOS revenue generated from casual genres
  • China Esports Tournaments by prize pool, per platform
  • China Esports Tournaments by number of events, per platform
  • Viewers, Streamers and Tips for DouYu, Huya and Bilibili (Monthly)
  • Total launches for top 50 games at internet cafes (Monthly)
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments where a PRC based company is the buyer or target (Jan 2022 – Sep 2023)
  • 2K Games
  • 37 Interactive
  • Activision
  • Alibaba
  • Apple
  • Archosaur
  • Bilibili
  • Bingchuan
  • Blizzard
  • ByteDance
  • Camel Game
  • Capcom
  • Catfood Studios
  • CD Projekt Red
  • Century Games
  • Digital Extremes
  • Electronic Arts
  • Electronic Soul
  • Endnight Games
  • Farlight Games
  • From Software
  • FunPlus
  • G-bits
  • Giant Network
  • HABBY
  • Happy Elements
  • Hortor Games
  • HoYoverse
  • Hypergraph
  • iDreamsky
  • IGG
  • JJWorld
  • Kingsoft
  • Klei
  • Krafton
  • Larian Studios
  • Level Infinite
  • Lightspeed
  • Lilith Games
  • Li-Ning
  • Long Tech
  • McDonalds
  • Microsoft
  • MiHoYo
  • Ministry of Culture and Tourism
  • Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
  • Moonton
  • National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA)
  • National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA)
  • NetEase
  • Nuverse
  • Perfect World
  • River Games
  • Rockstar Games
  • Shengqu (Century Huatong)
  • Smilegate
  • Tencent
  • TiMi Studio Group
  • TOP GAMES
  • Tuyoo
  • Ultrapower
  • Valve
  • Warner Bros.
  • Wizard Games