The impact of the Chinese economy on the global gaming industry is becoming more and more apparent. As China is poised to become a major player in a variety of markets, the gaming industry will be among them, albeit in a slightly different style than North American markets.
Mobile, internet, and subscriptions based games are likely to take the lead, whereas console games are still a developing consideration. The rising middle class are the largest group of Chinese gaming consumers, and with improvements in internet sales efficiency, this group has an even easier mode of purchasing. Read on to discover how all this combines to equate a lucrative market for publishers and developers.
World’s Largest Economy
According to Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategy research, the Chinese economy overtook the USA economy in 2014 to become the world’s largest. China now has the most purchasing power parity, giving the country a significant advantage in emerging markets such as the gaming industry. For example, the greatest market in the world for smartphones now exists in China. Mobile revenues are one of the driving forces for mobile gaming. Wise developers will soon turn their attentions to where the biggest spenders are located.
Rising Discretionary Funds
The middle class population in China is experiencing booming growth. The amount of discretionary funds in this class has seen dramatic increases in the past decade and therefore the population has extra money to spend on games, toys, entertainment, and travel. Playing games was ranked as the number once choice of leisure activity by Chinese residents in a survey in 2012.
As a result of the rising middle class and their spending habits, the gaming industries of nearby countries are beginning to consider how to benefit. Neighboring Russia is aiming to be on the receiving end of those Chinese who want to enjoy gambling games and associated entertainment. In fact, the first Russian casino is currently under construction (expected completion in Summer 2015) and definitively geared towards Chinese consumers. Everything from game style, interior decor, and menu offerings will have an Asian flair. The casino will be located in Vladivostok and target Northeast Chinese travelers.
Bandai Namco, a Japanese game maker, is another example of an international company seeking to maximize profits from the new Chinese economy. Bandai Namco foresees expansion opportunities in China, as they hunt for new ways to regain strength after several losing years.
Internet Sales & Subscription Games
Internet purchases have slowly become an option for Chinese consumers in recent years. This development marks a wide opportunity to market in new ways to this gaming audience. The increase of internet sales goes hand in hand with an increase in game subscription services. These online providers make game access easy, even in spite of the long held ban on console players.
Console Ban Lifted
The ban on video game consoles in China was lifted in September 2013. However, the opportunities for growth in console type games is still limited. There exists a number of challenges that console game makers have yet to overcome, in addition to the competition against the already popular mobile and internet games. Tablets and smartphones are a more accessible and convenient mode of gaming at this time.
China’s gaming industry is expected to continue growing at astonishing rates. In just a little over a decade, theindustry has grown from $10 million in 2001 to over $11.9 billion in 2013. China’s gaming industry can’t help but to have a major impact on the industry at large. Game publishers and developers have already taken notice, with an increased need for on-the-ground insight to effective market sales.
[Photo Credit: Philip Jägenstedt]