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China video games market revenue to rise by 5.2% this year after a decline in 2022, a positive sign for recovery

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. –November 21, 2023 –Niko Partners, the world’s leading market research firm covering video games and esports in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, has just revised its June 2023 forecast for China’s PC, mobile, and console games markets. The revised forecast is part of Niko’s China Games Market 2023 Half-Year Update Report. Insights from the updated forecast show that China video game revenue will generate $47.7 billion in 2023, increasing by 5.2% YoY. China will be home to 710.3 million gamers.

Key takeaways from the China Half-Year Update Report include:

  • 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.

“China’s recovering video game market is good news amid the underwhelming post-COVID economy.” said Lisa Hanson, CEO and President of Niko Partners. “The rebound brings more optimism to 2024 outlook. As we see more games launches and approvals, esports boom, as well as Chinese game companies’ continued expansion, China will continue to play a vital role in the global games industry.”

Niko’s China Games Market 2023 Half-Year Update report includes an updated market model, 5-year forecast, overview of current market and trends across China’s mobile, PC, and console games markets, as well as regulations and financial transaction events. This report is an add-on that is available with a purchase of at least one of our 2023 China PC, Mobile or Console Games Market Report. For more information, please visit https://nikopartners.com/china-half-year-update/.

ABOUT NIKO PARTNERS

Niko Partners is the world’s leading market research firm covering video games and esports in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Leveraging unmatched local expertise with a global perspective, Niko Partners delivers the most in-depth market intelligence on the world’s fastest-growing regions. With our deeper understanding of these markets, game developers, publishers, investors, and suppliers can make smarter business decisions with the utmost confidence. Our detailed reports, subscription insights, and custom consulting services dig into the details of nuanced, complex markets, empowering firms with a stake in the video game and esports ecosystems to make the right moves for their organizations. Coverage areas include East Asia (Japan, S. Korea, Chinese Taipei), China, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), India, and MENA (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt in North Africa). The company is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, and London. Learn more at www.nikopartners.com