SAN JOSE, Calif. – October 23, 2013 – Niko Partners, the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence™, today announced findings from their latest reports: Chinese Gamers Report 2013 and the Quarterly Home Gamer Survey and Monthly I-café Games Usage Data. The in-depth research and analysis shows that Chinese gamers are savvy, discerning, opportunistic, and hungry for gaming on all platforms.


Key takeaways include:

  • There are 208 million PC gamers and 288 million mobile gamers in mainland China in 2013
  • iCafe gaming has fallen from the top spot to below offices as a key gaming location. Now only 17% of play is in iCafe, vs 19% in office/work, and of 64% at home. This latest milestone in the downward trend has implications on everything from spending habits to how gamers select games.
  • Gamers’ #1 reason for game selection is “best in genre,” which is much different from two years ago, when “what friends are playing” was #1. Gamers’ discerning tastes have become even more demanding in those two years will continue to affect the market for games, hardware, and accessories.
  • WeChat is a market changer.  WeChat Game Center has added a new channel to games distribution in a market where nearly 300 million people already play games – nearly as many people as the total population of the United States. While there are limited games, it has been growing, and has been immensely popular, even among hardcore gamers. A key reason for the appeal is social functionality.  Looking forward, this could point to not only an opportunity for Tencent to build on the Wechat success, but a key trend for other games.
  • The ban on consoles was recently overturned along with the announcement of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, however, gamers who have wanted to play games on consoles have already had ample opportunity through widespread grey market sales.
  • People who prioritize Sports & Fitness as a primary activity in their lives also spend a lot of time on games, whereas people who prioritize Shopping or Movies, or KTV (karaoke) are less likely to spend time on games.

“Chinese gamers are no longer defined as 18-24 year old males competitively playing MMOGs with their friends, though that group remains important,” said Kevin Hause, senior partner of Niko Partners. “We now observe on either side of that group that kids engage with simple mobile games and middle-aged gamers continue to play MMORPGs and multiple mobile games.”


The 55 page report reveals analysis based on 6,000 gamer surveys conducted over the first three quarters of 2013, monthly I-café games usage data from 40,000 active PCs per month, in person interviews with gamers, and much more; and is available now for $4,000 in Niko’s research store:, or by contacting


The Quarterly Home Gamer Survey and Monthly I-café Games Usage Data are also available individually. The report is automatically sent to annual subscribers who receive other reports, data, and consulting services. In November, Niko will publish the 4th annual Southeast Asian Games Market Regional Report. The company also publishes a free newsletter, Niko News, a weekly digest of the most important news and analysis on the games market in Asia, culled from dozens of news sources in multiple languages. Subscribe at