China Set to Lead Games Market into 2022

China is where it’s at for video games in the next five years at least, according to market researcher Niko Partners which predicts that China’s gamers to exceed 1 billion people and amass $42 billion in revenues by 2022.

china market niko
Image Credit: Niko Partners

The Niko report also stated  that China will enjoy strong, constant growth in the next five years, mostly influenced by the PC online and mobile gaming markets which are growing faster than last year’s forecast mostly due to higher-than-expected mobile game revenue growth. The emergence of mobile versions of highly popular ‘battle royale’ games, and official releases in the county may have played a huge factor as well.

The report pointed out that in particular, midcore titles – hardcore games that players can engage in short time periods – and esports games like Tencent’s Honor of Kings generated those higher revenues.

*Sidenote: Unsure what ‘midcore  games’ are? well here’s a quick reference via


We would slot the likes of Fortnite and PUBG mobile somewhere between midcore and hardcore games in the list of games above.

The Niko report stated that number of gamers in China is set to increase from 604m in 2017 to 768m in 2022. Total PC online games revenue in 2017 was $15.53b, up 1.2% from the previous year. In addition to that, the total PC online games revenue in 2022 is estimated to reach $17.44b at a compound annual growth rate of 2.3%.

China’s domestic mobile games revenue was $12.13B in 2017,  an increase of 47.3% from a year earlier. China’s domestic mobile games revenue in 2022 is projected to reach $24.67B at a CAGR of 15.3%.

The most popular games in China are League of Legends on PC and Honor of Kings on mobile, and the number of female gamers that play and spend in games is increasing, Niko added. The esports segment continues to be one of the strongest drivers of growth, with battle royale the hottest new genre on both PC and mobile platforms. The top 20 Android app stores account for 95 percent of Android game distribution.

According to Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners, “China is by far the world’s largest games market and the single most important market for both mobile and PC games, and it’s growing faster than expected,”,

“Global game companies, hardware providers, and others must take the time to understand the Chinese market and Chinese [gamers’] motivations, behavior, demands, and economic reality in order to build games and products that will soar to the top of the charts.” she added.

Full report: Niko Partners 

Author: Team KKP

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