China’s Gaming Market: A Booming $47.8 billion revenue in 2023


In the realm of gaming, the Chinese market has consistently been a powerhouse, and according to the latest insights from Niko Partners, the trajectory continues on an upward curve.

The gaming market research firm has recently revised its forecasts for China’s PC, mobile, and console games markets, unveiling some exciting statistics that are reshaping expectations for the gaming landscape.

Revised Projections: A $2.3 Billion Surge

Niko Partners’ half-year update report presents a revised forecast, anticipating that China will generate a staggering $47.8 billion from gaming in the current year, marking a notable 5.2% year-over-year increase.

This adjusted figure, a $2.3 billion surge over 2022, reflects a positive trend that goes beyond initial expectations.

Return to Form: An Outlier in 2022

What makes 2022 stand out in retrospect is its status as an outlier—the sole year where mobile games revenue experienced a decline.

With the current resurgence, it becomes evident that this dip was a temporary anomaly, and the gaming industry is poised for a robust recovery.

Explosive Growth: Gamers on the Rise

Niko Partners anticipates a significant surge in the total number of gamers in China, projecting a staggering 710.3 million gamers by the end of the year.

This surge in gaming enthusiasts is a testament to the industry’s resilience and its ability to captivate an ever-expanding audience.

Regulatory Environment: A Key Catalyst

A pivotal factor driving this success is China’s comparatively lax regulatory environment.

The report highlights a substantial increase in game license approvals compared to the previous year.

By June 2023, the yearly license approvals had already surpassed 2022, reaching over 500 in just six months, compared to 466 in the entire previous year.

As of October 30, a whopping 844 game licenses have been issued in 2023, combining domestic and imported totals.

This represents almost a doubling of last year’s total, with two more months still to unfold.

This surge in approved licenses signifies a more inclusive gaming landscape and a broader array of gaming options for the Chinese audience.

Driving Forces: Legacy Titles and New Successes

The report attributes this year’s success to higher spending on legacy titles and the emergence of new blockbusters.

Notably, Honkai: Star Rail has broken records, solidifying its place among the top successes.

GameRefinery emphasizes that 52% of the Chinese population is now engaged in video games, with mid-core gaming taking the lead—an influential factor contributing to revenue growth.

Economic Factors: Yuan’s Impact

While the gaming industry’s growth is apparent, it’s crucial to acknowledge the impact of economic factors.

Niko Partners notes that the weakened value of the Yuan may partially offset the industry’s expansion.

However, despite this challenge, the forecast remains optimistic, predicting a remarkable $56.7 billion

Future Projections: A Glimpse into 2027

Looking ahead, Niko Partners envisions China’s gaming market surpassing $56.7 billion in 2027, exhibiting a five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.5%.

This projection is underpinned by expectations of 734.6 million gamers in China by that time.

The forecast also anticipates increased AI-generated content, continuous game approvals, and a burgeoning esports scene, as detailed in the comprehensive report.

CEO’s Optimism: Navigating Post-COVID Realities

Lisa Hanson, CEO and President of Niko Partners sees China’s recovering video game market as a beacon of hope amid the post-COVID economic landscape.

Expressing optimism for the 2024 outlook, Hanson highlights the role of game launches, esports expansion, and the continued growth of Chinese game companies in shaping the global games industry.

Conclusion: China’s Gaming Renaissance

In conclusion, China’s gaming market is experiencing a renaissance in 2023, defying economic uncertainties and global challenges.

The surge in revenue, the expanding gaming community, and regulatory support signal not just a recovery but a robust growth trajectory.

As China continues to be a vital player in the global games industry, the prospects for 2024 and beyond look exceptionally promising.

The gaming landscape in China is not just recovering; it’s thriving.

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