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A decline is projected for mobile games revenue, while PC games revenue is expected to rebound

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. – Oct 27, 2022 – Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm covering video games, esports, and streaming in Asia and the Middle East, has just revised its April 2022 forecast for China’s PC and mobile games markets. The revised forecast is part of Niko’s China Games Market 2022 Half-Year Update report.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Niko Partners now projects 2022 mainland China domestic video game software and services revenue will be US$45.44 billion, -2.5% YoY — the first decline in 20 years of Niko tracking the China video games market. The April 2022 forecast was for very low growth
  • The decline is due to lower spending on mobile games partially offset by growth across PC and console games. Downward macroeconomic factors, restrictive regulations, a lack of new licenses, and underperformance of newly launched titles fed the decline
  • Mobile games are roughly 66% of total games revenue and are now forecast to decline 5.1% YoY in 2022. In addition to the other downward factors, mobile games continue to be impacted by Apple’s ATT policy
  • PC games will be up 2.1% YoY, marking a return to growth for the PC games market after 4 consecutive years of decline. PC games are roughly 30% of total revenue and had stable performance with key legacy titles and increased spend on games distributed via unlicensed platforms such as Steam
  • Niko did not change the April forecast for Console software and services revenue, including spend on unlicensed games, as a gain of 14.7% YoY
  • China will have 701.8 million gamers across all platforms by end of 2022 marking the second year of decline, based on Niko estimates that 39 million youth gamers have stopped playing. New youth gamer regulations introduced in September 2021 are the primary reason behind the decline in gamers, but the impact on revenue is minimal compared to other factors
  • 2022 was a year of transition for China’s domestic games market. Niko forecasts China’s domestic games market to have 754.5 gamers and generate over $53.0 billion in 2026, with games revenue 5-year CAGR of 2.6% from 2021-2026

“China’s economy, Zero COVID policy, impact of youth gamers regulations, and a lack of new game ISBN licenses have contributed to the adverse changes in the domestic games market.” said Lisa Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners. “While 2022 is a down year for mobile, we forecast recovery and CAGR of 2.6% from 2021-2026 based on anticipation for new games augmenting portfolios of legacy titles and industry stakeholder adjustments to youth regulations. We observe momentum in the economy, esports, PC gaming, and enthusiasm among China’s 700 million+ gamers.”

Niko’s China Games Market 2022 Half-Year Update report includes a market model, 5-year forecast, current economy, and trends across China’s mobile, PC, and console games markets. For more information, please visit


Niko Partners is a market research and consulting firm covering video games, esports, and streaming in Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 2002, Niko provides qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, and strategic advisory services to deliver the intelligence and answers necessary to truly understand these complex markets. Niko’s products include market reports and forecasts, the China Games Industry database, the Asia Esports Tracker, the China Games Streaming Tracker, and the Asia and MENA News Analysis Service; and custom research and consulting services including focus groups, product and gamer studies, surveys, investor due diligence, IPO and market opportunity analysis, and transaction advisory services. The company is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, and London.