San Francisco firm Pearl Research has published a report detailing the growth of the online games market in China. Seems it grew over 63 percent in 2008 to $2.8 billion.
It's estimated that the market will grow to $5.5 billion in 2012. Over 70 percent of China's 298 million internet users are under 30 years old.
“Trends to track in 2009 include the growth of social networking sites in China, with over 55 million users, and their cross-pollination with games," said Pearl's Allison Luong.
"One overall concern is the lack of diversification with many game operators relying on a single title for the bulk of revenues.
"In addition, a glut of content with more than 200 games on the market, makes releasing a breakout hit increasingly difficult.”
Game operators in China told the firm that the global economic crisis has had no negative effect on business, thus giving companies a load of optimism for the future. Six game operators have already surpasses the $200 million revenue mark.
The most popular online game in China? Netease's Fantasy Westward Journey, which has over 1.8 million peak concurrent users. World of Warcraft is at one million and in fourth place.