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2018 combined revenue was up 11.5% over 2017, despite 9 month licensing freeze

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May –, 2019 – Niko Partners, the leading market research and consulting firm covering the Asia games market, today announced the availability of their 2019 China PC Online Games Market Report  and 2019 China Mobile Games Market Report with forecasts through 2023. According to the studies, China will continue to increase both the number of gamers and games revenue in the next 5 years, to reach $41.49 billion USD in domestic revenue and 767 million gamers, by 2023. Despite a temporary game licensing freeze lasting nine months in 2018, and the introduction of new regulations under a new regulator, the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP), demand for games on PC and mobile devices remains strong.

Key takeaways from the two reports include:

  • China is the world’s largest market for PC online games. China domestic PC online game revenue was $15.21 billion in 2018. Revenue is forecast to remain strong, reaching $16 billion by 2023.
  • China domestic mobile game revenue was $15.63 billion in 2018, up 28.9% from the previous year. Revenue is forecast to reach $25.5 billion by 2023.
  • There were 312.4 million PC online gamers in 2018 and 79.7 million (26%) of them spend money in games. The number of PC online gamers is projected to reach 354 million in 2023. (More than the population of the entire United States).
  • There were 598 million mobile gamers in 2018, and 239 million (40%) of them spend money in games. The number of mobile gamers is projected to reach 728 million in 2023.
  • 95% of gamers in China play mobile games.
  • Tencent and NetEase remained the Top 2 game PC and mobile publishers in China.
  • Foreign developed games comprised about 60% of total PC games revenue in the market.
  • China’s 138,000 internet cafes are a very important part of Chinese online gaming, even more important for gamers engaged with esports.
  • Esports is currently the most important long-term driver of growth for the PC online games market. PC esports game revenue was $6.3 billion in 2018, up 11.1% YoY and accounting for 41.4% of total PC online games revenue. This figure  is projected reach $9.5 billion in 2023, accounting for 59.4% of PC online games revenue.
  • Mobile esports game revenue was $5.6B in 2018, and accounted for 36% of total mobile games revenue. This figure is projected to reach $11.5B in 2023, 45% of the mobile games market revenue.

“China deserves the attention of games and hardware companies worldwide,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. “China’s PC online games market in accounts for more than 50% of PC online games revenue worldwide and China’s mobile games market is worth 25% of the world’s mobile games market – and rising,”

Niko’s methodology included online surveys of Chinese gamers, interviews with executives at major Chinese games industry companies, our constant coverage of news and events and data from China, and building our proprietary market model. The report provides market share estimates for game publishers by platform, top games, and top distribution channels. The analysis includes a comprehensive market model and 5-year forecast, and qualitative and quantitative data on gamer behavior, spending, mobile devices, and usage. For more information visit 2019 China PC Online Games Market Report  and 2019 China Mobile Games Market Report.

Niko Partners is the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence, specializing in the Chinese and Greater Southeast Asian game markets. Founded in 2002, the firm conducts syndicated and custom research studies on Chinese gamers, Greater Southeast Asian gamers, online games, mobile games, consoles, Smart TV gaming, regulatory issues, piracy, development, online operators, distribution, and retail. Niko Partners also offers consulting services including focus groups, partnership selection, market opportunity analysis, custom surveys in cities throughout China and the Asia Pacific region and customized data analysis. The goal of the research and strategic advisory services is to help understand the market, strategically enter or expand market share, and continue to profitably grow within China and Greater Southeast Asia’s impressive markets. The company is based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta and London, and its clients include worldwide leaders in game software, hardware, and services, as well as hedge funds, media companies, trade associations, and management consulting firms, all of whom have a vested interest in a thorough understanding of the games industry in Greater Southeast Asia and China.