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China: 100 million new gamers in “the next few years”

Thursday, 29th April 2010 10:28 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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China’s gaming population is set to explode in the coming years, if analyst firm Niko Partners is to be believed.

“Niko forecasts that by the end of this year 93 million Chinese gamers will play a mix of PC online, offline, console and handheld games, yet only the online segment generates legitimate revenue,” said Niko Partners MD Lisa Cosmas Hanson.

“Many drivers will push China’s game market growth, particularly online games, to higher heights each year through our five year forecast period, and we anticipate a surge in new gamers – possibly as many as 100 million more – over the next few years,” she added.

The snappily-titled 2010 Chinese Video Game industry Annual Review & Five-Year Forecast report also suggests that total game revenues in China could reach $4.61 billion 2009 – up 28 per cent on 2008.

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4 Comments

  1. mington

    Wow, but which console/handheld are they going to embrace, and what type of games?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. one million

    WoW, FF online, Korean MMOs. Offline gaming is crippled by piracy in China (more than anywhere that is).

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Withnail

    The people I’ve met in China are generally fans of western games rather than Japanese ones.

    PSP is absolutely massive in China. The DS is seen as being for young kids. Nobody buys games in China, all pirated. I once met a guy there who was a big PSP gamer and had owned one for years but had never even seen a UMD before.

    PC gaming is also extremely popular, with internet cafes full of people playing Counter Strike and MMOs every night. The 360 is becoming quite popular because of its ability to play pirated games, but in general I think people there see gaming as a thing to be done socially with other people, rather than sitting in your apartment.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. ybfelix

    Actually there are quite many Chinese sitting in apartments play games(I for one), but you know, sitting in apartments, so not very visible.

    Excluding browser based free games, my estimation is 50:50 for Chinese playing offline/online.

    I’d say Chinese taste for Japanese and Western game is about split in half, too. The former is more mixed with Japanese anime/manga subculture.

    As economic development progresses, in more wealthy region non-pirated games have gained a small following. Majority of it is for PS3(and then an unusually large part of them is ferocious Sony fanboys :( ). Other people buy Xbox and PC games, mainly for being able to play online multiplayer.

    Generally speaking, imported console games are still too expensive for an average Chinese. One costing 1/8-1/10 of a new college graduate’s monthly income. Locally published PC games are much more reasonably priced, but alas, much easier to crack, too.

    #4 4 years ago

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