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Game related investments doubled from 2020

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. – May 17, 2022 – Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm covering video games, esports, and streaming in Asia and the Middle East, today announced the release of two new reports: China Mobile Games Market Report and China PC Games Market Report, including Niko’s proprietary market model and 5-year forecast through 2026.

Key takeaways from the reports include:

  • China’s domestic mobile + PC game revenue was $45.49 billion in 2021, up 5.5% YoY and is projected to reach $55.23 billion in 2026 at a 5-year CAGR of 4%
  • There were 706 million gamers in 2021, down 3.7% YoY, and projected to reach 730m in 2026 at a 5-year CAGR of 0.7%
    • Growth of the number of gamers is slower than previously projected. This is due to youth gamers leaving the market because of the September 2021 regulatory measures, and primarily impacts the number of mobile gamers
    • In 2021 China strengthened existing regulations, temporarily halted issuing game licenses (ISBN), and shifted toward compliance and enforcement
    • The resumption of game licensing in April 2022 is a positive sign for the market
  • Annual ARPU was $64.44 in 2021 and set to reach $75.60. ARPPU is also on the rise
  • Chinese game companies are playing a larger role overseas:
    • China’s export mobile + PC game revenue was $17.3 billion in 2021, up 27.3% YoY and is projected to reach $26.46bn in 2026 at a 5-year CAGR of 8.9%
  • China has the most developed esports market in the world with an audience of 434 million esports fans
  • China’s 220 game related investment events in 2021 were double that of 2020
  • More than 16,000 metaverse-related trademarks have been filed in China

“In the past year we have watched gamers entertain themselves with nostalgic and new games during the pandemic lockdowns, we have watched youth gamers wave farewell to a primary pastime due to regulations limiting their hours for gaming, and we have watched innovations such as esports hotels and the metaverse emerge,” said Lisa Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners. “We fully expect China’s metaverse to develop differently when compared to the rest of the world due to the unique regulatory environment in China. Game companies have started to invest in internal projects and partner with local governments with more than 16,000 metaverse related trademarks filed by Chinese companies. The greatest short-term opportunity for metaverse in China will come from interoperability across gaming ecosystems and collaborative events with brands and IP holders.”

Niko’s research methodology includes online surveys of Chinese gamers, trends analysis on key topics such as esports, leading games and game company market share estimates, review of regulations and policy plus interviews of game publishers, analysis of drivers and inhibitors for growth, review of distribution, hardware, payments, internet cafes, and more. Each market report provides a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast of games and gamers, and qualitative and quantitative analysis on gamer demand, behavior and usage for mobile and PC games.

For more information visit:
China Mobile Games Market Report
China PC Games Market Report


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.