07 Apr Report: Mobile Gaming in China 2015
In partnership with DataEye, a leading Chinese gaming industry research firm, we bring you this special report of the biggest 2015 trends in the Chinese mobile gaming industry. It covers industry marketshare, IP-based games break-down, the e-sports eco-system, play habits, and ARPUs.
Gaming continues to grow, driven by mobile.
Revenue of China’s game industry reached 140.7 Billion CNY ($21.76 Billion USD) in 2015, with a YOY growth of 22.9%. PC games, web games and mobile games took a share of 43.5%, 15.6% and 36.6% respectively, making the mobile games market a major driving force for growth. Mobile gaming revenue hit 51.46 Billion CNY ($7.96 Billion USD) in 2015, with a YOY growth rate of 87.2%. The number of mobile gamers reached 396 Million with a growth rate of 10.9%, surpassing that of PC games and web games. In the short term, it’s unlikely that a new sector such as HTML5 games or VR games, can take over the role of mobile games. The heat of the mobile market is expected to be prolonged.
IP goes cross-media, dominating Games.
Cross-media IP, between mobile games, literature, movie, animation and comics, surged in 2015. This new trend pushed forward the maturation of an IP-centered cross-media ecosystem. For Online Mobile Games, a whopping 41% were IP-based games. Of that, 41% were game IPs, followed by animation, movie/drama, online literature and entertainment. Only 4% of mobile games based on an IP were officially authorized.
E-Sports shifting to Mobile.
E-sports has ever been king in the PC game sector while in mobile gaming, E-sports has been garnering higher and higher expectation. Driven by industry giants and capital, E-sports in China has witnessed fast development, speeding up the formation of an industry eco-system. Industry participants including developers, publishers, E-sport clubs, event organizers, E-sport platforms, and live broadcast sites have emerged. Despite PC games’ dominance in the E-sport arena, mobile games have gained a high expectation of becoming the new King. Multiple companies, such as Tencent, Netease, Giant, and Hero Entertainment, have released their E-sport mobile games, led by MOBAs and FPS titles.
Average daily play habits, mobile games.
Over 30% of mobile gamers spent more than 30 minutes playing, and nearly 40% of gamers played more than 3 times a day. The rise of hardcore RPGs and E-sports drove the entire industry to shift from casual/midcore games towards hardcore games. It is evident that hardcore mobile games contributed to the increase in both game time and frequency for mobile gamers. In terms of active players on different mobile platforms, iOS had a better DAU performance when compared to Android gamers. CAG/RPG particularly had more active players compared to other genres. The booming of E-sports fostered the continuous release of quality FPS games which significantly increased DAU/MAU of shooting games.
ARPU by Genre, iOS vs. Android.
(Genre, top-bottom: Card, Simulation, Strategy, Action, RPG, Casual, Sports, Music, Shooting)
Midcore and hardcore games took up the majority in 2015. A few top titles attracted most gamers, enjoying a high paid-rate and ARPU, thus fostering a fast market growth. RPG kept up with its leadership in ARPU ($7 in Average), and the rareness of quality products directed user flow to a couple of hardcore games which delivered high DAU and ARPU.