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China: 100 million new gamers in "the next few years"


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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