We discuss the growth of the Chinese game market and talk about the biggest problems that stop more developers of coming to this country.
China remains one of the most lucrative markets for game developers and publishers. It’s incredibly big, relatively open, with lots of monetization platforms and a huge love for both mobile and online games. Most recent 2015 China Gaming Industry Report just goes to prove this point and show why China is so important. According to the recent calculations, Chinese gaming market generated RMB140.7 billion in 2015. This is 22.9% more than last year.
The Chinese game users database is over 534 million people now. Actual revenues from Chinese-made online games reached almost RMB98.67 billion, which is 38% more than in 2014. Stand-alone games did not gather as much money, as you’d expect them to – only RMB140 million. However, these results do mark a huge 180.0% YoY increase. Perhaps, console ban lift is to blame. In 2015, you could actually buy Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in China.
If you come to Chine, you should know the following.
While China does seem like a very interesting market, it does have some barriers, which are incredibly hard to overcome. First and foremost, there’s a huge language gap. People in China do not speak English and the structure of the Chinese language does not encourage integration of foreign words into the thesaurus. Blizzard games, EA games, hell, even Starbucks have their own name in Chinese. So yeah, if you want to conquer China – you need to do a good localization.
Second big barrier – is local laws. If you think you can get inside this market, without a decent local partner – you are wrong. You need to have a local representative to deal with the stores, the payment systems and other details.
Third problem is piracy. If they don’t steal your game, they will make the exact copy of it and you’ll still be ripped off. Sadly, there’s no way to solve this right now, so you just have to learn to live with it.
Forth problem is marketing. Having visited Chinajoy, we can definitely say that marketing is asuper important issue if you want to make it big in China. It’s important to understand the market, learn the main traffic drivers and work with the local companies to get the best results. China has a whole bunch of different website, online portals and other platforms, which can help you with marketing.
Fifth trouble is distribution. Chinese market, while big and lucrative, is also incredibly fragmented. There are literally hundreds of various stores, thousands of devices and millions of games. To earn money here is very difficult and you have to choose your partners very carefully, to get better results.
However, all these troubles don’t really matter for game developers, since most people still want to earn money here. And the 2015 China Gaming Industry Report is another confirmation of the huge potential this market has for game developers.
More details from 2015 China Gaming Industry Report:
- By 2015, the number of Chinese game users reached 534 million, an increase of 3.3% YoY.
- In 2015, Chinese games market (including client games, web games, social games, mobile games, single-alone games, video games etc) generated RMB140.7 billion, an increase of 22.9% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from China independently developed online games market reached RMB98.67 billion, an increase of 35.8% YoY.
- In 2015, actual overseas sales revenue from China independently developed online games market reached US$5.31 billion, an increase of 72.4% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from Chinese client games market reached RMB61.16 billion, an increase of 0.4% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from Chinese browser-based games market reached RMB21.96 billion, an increase of 8.3% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from Chinese mobile games market reached RMB51.46 billion, an increase of 87.2% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from Chinese stand-alone games market reached RMB140 million, an increase of 180.0% YoY.
- In 2015, actual sales revenue from Chinese video games market reached RMB220 million.
If you have any experience working with the Chinese market and want to share your thoughts, please do – we’d love to publish a more