49% of China’s gamers play on their phones
According to a report by Makreo, approximately 49% of gamers in China play games on their mobile phones, with mobile gaming contributing to more than 70% of the country's total games revenue. Despite the challenges faced in 2022, China remains the largest mobile gaming market globally, and the market is showing signs of recovery with an increasing number of games being approved for release.
The report highlights that one-third of Chinese consumers engage in mobile gaming, with a noticeable rise in the number of female gamers. China boasts over 300 million female gamers, and the majority of them prefer mobile games over other platforms. For instance, Tencent's Honor of Kings, which ranks as the fourth-highest grossing mobile game of all time with over $12.5 billion in lifetime revenue, had an audience consisting of 54% female players in 2020. However, female professional players are still relatively rare in China's esports sector.
Makreo identifies several factors that have contributed to China's dominance in the mobile gaming market. One key factor was the fourteen-year ban on consoles, which ended in 2015. During this period, gamers increasingly turned to mobile phones, and game developers capitalized on the easy entry and lower cost of mobile devices, which facilitated rapid growth.
As the Chinese economy has opened up, the barriers to entry have further decreased, making it easier for developers to enter the market. Moreover, Chinese consumers have seen a rise in disposable income, allowing them to allocate more funds to gaming and other hobbies.
There is also a growing interest in the broader gaming industry in China, with companies like Sony and Microsoft seeking to leverage the recent turbulence in the mobile market to accelerate their growth through licensing partnerships and incubator programs. Sony's China Hero Project, for example, has invested at least a million yuan in 17 small-scale games, aiming to sell twice as many PS5 consoles as it did PS4.
Source: By Lewis Rees, Staff Writer at Pocket Gamer