China game market forecast to hit $57 billion in 2027
According to a report by Niko Partners, the Chinese game market is projected to reach over $57 billion in revenue by 2027. Despite regulatory crackdowns and pandemic-related restrictions, the overall gaming market in China, including console, PC, and mobile, generated $45.5 billion in 2022. The report predicts that China will have 730 million players by 2027, with mobile games accounting for 66% of the market, PC games at 31%, and console games at 3%.
Mobile esports holds a prominent position in the Chinese market, with over half (51%) of the 102 tournaments held in China being for mobile titles. For example, Tencent's Honor of Kings hosted a tournament with a prize pool of $14.7 million. Niko Partners also highlights Tencent's upcoming game Valorant, a blend of Overwatch and Counter-Strike, as one to watch upon its launch in China later this year.
Lisa Hanson, CEO and founder of Niko Partners, expressed optimism about the growth of Chinese game companies internationally and their bold investments. Chinese-owned companies saw a 22% increase in revenue from PC games overseas in 2022, and this is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% through 2027, surpassing the domestic growth rate.
However, it's important to note that the Chinese game market still faces uncertainties and challenges. The sudden freeze on video game licensing and crackdown on tech giants and game developers have raised concerns about the country's operating risks. Tencent and NetEase have made investments and expanded their presence outside of China as a response.
The regulatory landscape in China can change rapidly, requiring domestic and foreign publishers to be prepared for sudden shifts. Despite these challenges, the forecast indicates a positive outlook for China's gaming market, suggesting continued growth and expansion in the coming years.
Source: Iwan Morris, Staff Writer at PocketGamer