A forecast believes that in four years, the Communist state will surpass the United States.
2019 China PC Online Games Report, which can be read here, courtesy of Niko Partners, has a tough prediction: they think that by 2023, China will have 354 million PC players. That figure is already bigger than the entire population of the United States! It will also have a result that the Chinese game industry will grow to 16 billion dollars by that year (2023)!
It’s surprising because since 2001 (when the whole industry was worth a hundred million dollars in the country), a massive boom has happened in the industry, and secondly, the March 2018 decision to freeze game approvals in the country (which is necessary to make them officially available in the country), didn’t seem to affect the PC games.
In 2018, the PC gaming industry generated 15.21 billion dollars with 312.4 million players (of which 79.7 million of them have spent money on games). In comparison, the entire US gaming industry, complete with mobile and console games, generated 30.4 billion dollars, according to Newzoo.
Steam is also playing a significant role over there: via the platform, players can access games that would likely be otherwise unavailable / not accepted by the Chinese censors (such as Grand Theft Auto V). 24% of the total Steam users have it in Simplified/Mandarin Chinese, and most of the download traffic is generated in China – as 53% of the 620-million revenue of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is generated in Asia, it’s not surprising. A few more tidbits: The foreign games accounted for 60 per cent of China’s PC gaming revenue in 2018. China has 138,000 internet cafes. eSports is the strongest driver of growth for China’s PC games market. Its revenue was 6.3 billion dollars in 2018, accounting for 41.4% of PC online games revenue. It’s projected to reach 9.5 billion in 2023.
So the PC market is quite strong there, which is why the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One couldn’t really gain a foothold in the country, and we don’t know if the Nintendo Switch can get anywhere there either.