China’s Booming Gaming Industry: Trends and Insights for 2024

Chinese girl laughing and watching mobile phone

China’s gaming market is massive and only continuing to grow. With millions of gamers and billions in revenue, China leads the global gaming industry.

Key Data Points

  • China’s gaming market hit $41 billion in revenue in 2023, up nearly 14% year-over-year
  • There are over 600 million gamers in China
  • Mobile gaming accounts for 75% of China’s gaming revenue
  • 46% of China’s population actively plays games
  • The average age of gamers in China is 35
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) for games is $64 in China
  • China accounts for nearly 50% of global mobile gaming revenue
  • 38 of the top 100 mobile game publishers globally are Chinese companies
  • Chinese gaming firms earned $17.34 billion in overseas revenue in 2023

How Big is Gaming in China?

China has a whopping 668 million gamers – almost double the entire population of North America and almost 50% of them are women.

In 2023, China’s domestic gaming market hit a new high of US$41.68 billion, up nearly 14% from the previous year.

As per projections, this revenue will reach US$66.13 billion in 2024 and US$95.51 billion by 2029, with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.63%.

Chinese gaming firms also earn massive US$17.34 billion in revenue from overseas markets.

Key markets

  • United States
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Germany 
  • United Kingdom

This top 5 accounts for over 56% of the market share for Chinese games.

While Chinese game distributors witnessed growth in foreign markets, revenue saw a drop by 3.7 % from the previous year – marking the first drop since 2018.

Is Mobile Gaming Still King in China?

  • Mobile gaming thrives in China, claiming 74.88% of total gaming revenue in 2023.
  • Chinese gamers spend 66% of their gaming budget on mobile titles.
  • Titans like Tencent and NetEase command over half of China’s gaming market.
  • Their blockbuster mobile titles, like Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile, enjoy massive popularity domestically and abroad.
  • The rise of mini-games in universal apps like WeChat and Alipay also propels mobile gaming by providing quick, social entertainment.

PC and Console Gaming

  • While overshadowed by mobile, PC and console gaming are still going strong in China.
  • Major tournaments for popular PC titles like League of Legends draw huge live and online audiences.
  • Console makers like Sony and Microsoft have gained traction in recent years by working with Chinese partners to launch localized content.
  • However, high hardware costs and import restrictions limit the console market’s growth potential.

Esports Growth

  • China remains the epicenter of global esports.
  • The country is home to an enormous base of competitive gamers and several world-leading esports companies.
  • Chinese developers are doubling down on tournaments and leagues for mobile titles like Honor of Kings.
  • International brands like G2 Esports and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. are also getting in on the action via local partnerships.

Emerging Segments Like VR and Cloud Gaming

  • Cutting-edge gaming tech like virtual reality (VR) and cloud gaming is taking off.
  • Meta’s big VR partnership with Tencent in 2024 aims to bring affordable, quality VR hardware to the masses.
  • This could revolutionize interactive entertainment.
  • Meanwhile, China’s extensive cloud infrastructure provides a platform for scalable cloud gaming services to thrive.
  • As 5G networks expand, expect cloud gaming to gain momentum.

What Regulatory Developments are Shaping China’s Gaming Industry?

  • Playtime restrictions for minors – Rules impose limits on how long minors can play games for per day/week to prevent addiction.
  • Curbs on in-game spending – Regulations introduced to limit excessive spending on in-game purchases and random reward systems.
  • Ongoing uncertainty around future policies – While current measures aim to ensure healthy gaming habits, potential for further restrictions contributes to investor concerns.
  • Record number of new game licenses – Chinese regulators approved over 1,000 new game titles in 2023, more than double that of 2022. Signals government support for the industry.
  • Calls for sustainable development – The government urges gaming companies to launch quality products and promote sustainable growth rather than addiction.
  • Support for global expansion – Chinese gaming regulators backing overseas expansion efforts by developers as a key strategic priority.

The shifting regulatory landscape requires gaming companies to closely monitor policy developments while adapting their products and business models accordingly. However, an indication of future support from regulators points to optimism for the industry’s continued dynamism.


Discover more from Gaming Foodle

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *