Gaming Market Chases US$2.1 Billion

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The Chinese domestic consumer market is a hot topic, and one of the fast-moving sectors with young people is gaming, much of it online.

A new report from Niko Partners, referenced in BusinessWeek, says that the gaming market in China is currently worth US$683 million, and that it will grow to US$2.1 billion by 2010 (with compound annual growth of 24 percent). Key points include:

    • 27 million gamers
    • 29 percent play for over 60 hours a month
    • Access increasingly via broadband, and using 20 million PCs in 265,000 licensed internet cafes
    • Softer graphics and brighter colours are popular
    • Socializing is an important part of the gaming experience

Lisa Hanson, the managing partner at Nikos is quoted as saying:

    “Not only is it imperative for a foreign videogame company to understand the preferences and demands of Chinese gamers, they must also strive to develop games that fit the restrictive regulations of the Chinese government….The Chinese market is different than other global markets, and it will take perseverance as well as innovation in business models for foreign companies to succeed there.”

She is quite right that offerings must be adapted to Chinese consumers (and regulators), and the same holds true for other sectors. However, I would add that it is also important to take regional differences into account (as mentioned in a recent post “Rich Pickings in China’s Consumer Market(s)”. What people like in Chongqing (chillied pig brain anyone?), may not go down well in Guangzhou (where they may prefer to stick with the shark-fin soup)…

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