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62% of PC game spenders in China, more than any other platform, are spending more on a year-over-year basis, according to Niko Partners research

SILICON VALLEY, Calif. – July 3, 2024 – Research by Niko Partners, the world’s leading market research and consulting firm covering video games, esports, and live streaming in Asia and MENA, has found that nearly two-thirds of PC game spenders in China are spending more this year than they did in 2023, with 19% spending at least 30% more.

This insight, among others, is detailed in Niko Partners’ 2024 China Gamers Behavior and Market Insights report, which complements the findings described in May’s China Market Model Report. Put together, the two reports provide comprehensive analysis and context on current gaming-related trends in China, including gamer behavior, spending, hours, platforms, esports, live streaming, M&A, internet cafes, regulations.

“Our findings show a positive outlook for growth in player spending, notably in the PC gaming segment,” said Lisa Hanson, CEO, Niko Partners. “Alternative ways for game discovery and non-ISBN games are emerging through short video platforms and continued access to Steam International. This suggests new opportunities for games marketing and monetization, and companies need to better understand the current landscape of the Chinese market to implement appropriate strategies.”

Some key takeaways and trends from the report include:
Emerging trends in PC and mobile gaming
• PC gaming is seeing the largest increase in individual spending this year, with 62% of PC game spenders saying they spent more this year than they did last year. Further, 19% claim they spent at least 30% more than they did last year.
• Steam maintained its position as the #1 PC game distribution platform in China, with gamers primarily accessing its international version without a VPN. Nearly 80% of PC gamers that play premium games use Steam.
• The Mini Game segment has emerged as a major growth area within mobile gaming with approximately 650 million gamers playing them. According to Niko Partners’ survey, two-thirds of mobile gamers are playing mini games daily or several times a week.

The rise of short video content and platforms
• Around 45% of respondents learn about new video games from short video content, making it the most popular game discovery method. This popularity is more pronounced among PC and mobile gamers, while it ranks #4 for console gamers.
• Over 4 in 10 gamers (44%) watch video game & esports livestreams, with 69% using Douyin.

Other notable trends
• According to Niko Partners’ survey, over 78% of gamers in China are aware of AIGC technologies, and over 37% of gamers are interested in these technologies being applied to video games.
• It appears that youth gamer regulations, while effective in curbing game time for those under 18, may be having the opposite effect for gamers once they become adults. Gamers aged between 18-22, who were minors when youth gamer regulations were passed, play longer hours per week today than those that are over 23.
• Japan has extended its lead as the #1 country for import game approvals, while the US regained its #2 position. South Korea being #3 is notable given that no games from Korea were being approved as little as three years ago.

The Gamer Behavior and Market Insights report is a part of Niko’s all-new Games Market Report Series. Niko will produce a set of three reports for each of the 13 markets that we track: China, India, East Asia (Japan, Korea), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and MENA (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates). The set consists of an Annual Market Model Report, an Annual Gamer Behavior & Market Insights Reports, and a Six-Month Market Model Update. The Gamers Behavior and Market Insights includes gamer survey results, trends analysis, M&A, internet café trends, regulations, and esports analysis, among others. Additional data on China’s video games industry is available on NikoIQ, Niko Partners’ online dashboard. Niko Partners surveyed 1,079 gamers in China in April 2024 as one of the numerous inputs to the research.

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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. We provide the local market context behind our data, your data and other third-party data analytics you may refer to. 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, online SaaS tools, 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 China, East Asia (Japan, Korea), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), India, and MENA (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE). The company is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, and London. Learn more at, or contact to arrange a no-obligation introductory meeting.