top of page

Chinese Gaming Trends: Over 50% of Population Plays Games

GameRefinery's latest podcast offers insights into the mobile gaming landscape in China, one of the industry's largest markets. The discussion, featuring Jon Jordan from Steel Media, Kalle Heikkinen, Chief Market Analyst for China at GameRefinery, and Chinese market expert Inka Reinola, highlights key trends and regulatory aspects.

Notably, more than half of the Chinese population, approximately 500 million people, are engaged in gaming, representing 52% of the country's total population. While regulatory authorities have imposed limitations, mobile gaming has had a head start in China, especially since consoles were effectively banned until recent years. Mobile platforms have also faced their own regulatory challenges, including restrictions on content related to sexuality and censorship of government or anti-China criticism. However, some regulations are designed to benefit consumers, such as requiring gacha games to disclose drop rates to help players assess risks and rewards.

Key Trends:

  1. Midcore Dominance: Midcore games continue to dominate the Chinese gaming market, although they saw a small decline in revenue share (down by 7%) in the past year. On the other hand, casual and casino games have grown by 4% and 2%, respectively.

  2. Cozy Games: "Cozy" games, which offer social elements and relaxed gameplay, are popular in both Western and Eastern markets. Chinese gamers particularly appreciate the social aspects of games, as seen in titles like "Justice," an MMORPG with a social wall that allows players to see their friends' in-game activities.

  3. Diverse Player Base: Similar to the West, China's gaming community has become more diverse, with an increasing number of female gamers. Many mobile titles in China are incorporating minigames from different genres to cater to varied preferences. For instance, the Chinese MOBA "Honor of Kings" was praised for its auto chess mode, a subgenre that has gained popularity within existing games, particularly during the pandemic.

  4. Mixed Genre Games: China features a broader range of mixed-genre games not commonly seen in the West. Combining genres like puzzles, farming simulation, and shooters in a single game is more accepted in the East, provided players enjoy the experience.

The podcast also provides an overview of the history of gaming in China, focusing on popular social elements within Chinese games. Tencent's "MapleStory: Maple Legend" emerged as the top-performing new product in China in the past month.

These insights reflect the dynamic and diverse gaming landscape in China, with a significant portion of the population actively participating in gaming despite regulatory challenges.

Source: by Aaron Astle, News Editor for

bottom of page