CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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China's Mobile Games Industry Sees Rapid Growth

China's mobile gaming market is seeing rapid growth.

(Photo : Getty Images) China's mobile gaming market is seeing rapid growth.

China's mobile game industry has been steadily gaining ground in the country's overall digital games market, with mobile games now accounting for nearly half of China's total digital gaming revenue.

While online PC games are still dwarfing mobile games, analytics company DataEye reveals that mobile games are now taking over the market, accounting for 40 percent of the overall revenue.

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The firm estimates the total mobile gaming revenue at $7.94 billion. But this figure includes exported games. A separate research conducted by Niko Partners, on the other hand, puts the figure at roughly $5.5 billion, which is higher than that of the United States but way lower than the country's PC online revenue at $18 billion.

Forbes noted the relative quick ascent of the China's mobile gaming market, noting that it only accounted 5.4 percent of all gaming in the country in 2012. In 2015, it skyrocketed to 36.6 percent, with export value included.

Although the growth is likely to continue, the same speedy growth pace is unlikely in the long run, the Forbes.

China's mobile industry's rapid maturity has been caused by the arrival of top seven PC gaming companies, including NetEase, Tencent and Giant, which launched more than 150 mobile games between them last year. This expansion showed that mobile gaming industry can be worth their efforts.

Apparently, when big companies start to move and venture, small-to-medium firms are also agile to go in new directions. So called "niche" segments, such as comic-based games, indie plays and female-centric games, have proven to be big opportunities for small- to medium-sized companies to escape from the competition.

Furthermore, the interest of giant firms in the mobile gaming market also gives rise to eSports. After clearly snatching major companies' attention and attracting an influx of capital, the mobile eSports ecosystem is now hyper-drive. Developers are now planning to build infrastructure to fully realize the eSports ecosystem.

Together with the growth of China's mobile industry is also the birth of what DataEye calls "pan-entertainment," or a collaboration between mobile gaming and other media like books, comics and films.

IP-based games, which account for 16 percent of the total mobile gaming market, are starting to pave the way to stardom as players from different media are able to control their favorite properties through mobile gaming.

Another trend to watch out for is the HTML5 games, which has become a known playground for game developers. In 2015, China created over 3,000 HTML5 games, three-fourths of which were in the casual games categories. But of note, a surge for higher monetized games like RPGs have also bee noted. 

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