21 Jul Report: Gaming Market in China 2016
In December 2016, China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association (GPC) released a report detailing the biggest 2016 trends in the Chinese gaming industry. Our report highlights the key findings of the GPC report in the following categories: industry marketshare, user base analysis, the e-sports and VR eco-system, monthly revenue by genre, and UA cost.
Market growth slows down, hindered by MMO and Web games performance
Mobile Game revenue continues to sustain high growth and contributes almost 50% of all revenue generated in the gaming market. With 165.6 Billion Yuan in total revenue for the industry, this means the Chinese mobile games industry generated nearly 82 Billion Yuan last year.
Mobile gamers continue to fuel growth in user base
Mobile games expanded their reach into niche markets through smaller distribution channels, helping to sustain growth in a saturated market. In the graph below, the pay rate for mobile games are high compared to the global market. With high pay rate and huge player base, developers with the right publishing plan can expect to bring in considerable income by releasing their games into China’s growing market.
About 70% of the gamers are male
Across all platforms, most players were identified as male with female having a higher presence in web and mobile games than other platforms. Chinese female players tend to favor games with easy controls, cartoon style art, and causal style of game play. Since MMO and single player games on PC tend to be more competitive, it is reasonable that we see a higher percentage of female players in both web and mobile games.
WeChat, QQ, Weibo are the best channels to promote your game
Similar to Facebook and Twitter, properly utilizing social media channels in China will help your game gain the much needed exposure in a saturated market similar to China. For maximum exposure, developing connections with local media and game channels early would help with long term penetration into the Chinese market. Companies may also consider seeking advice from companies with establishment within the Chinese market to ensure a smooth expansion.
RPG games bring in the most revenue on mobile
Out of approximately 3,800 games approved for release in 2016, 92% of all the games were for mobile platforms. For the approximately 260 games from overseas, 33% are for mobile devices. RPG games continues to be the most lucrative genre when publishing in China. However, we must keep in mind the fierce competition from major players such as Tencent and NetEase in this genre. Targeting the niche market might be the better option for small scale developers to avoid head on competition with well-established local Chinese developers.