The Chinese Mobile Game Market to overtake the US

Microsoft would be on the verge of launching a new version of the Xbox One specially created for China. The game publisher King recently declared a publishing contract in partnership with Tencent to inundate the Chinese market with its brightest success: Candy Crush Saga. Everything goes towards the fact that, on a mobile game side, the Chinese market attracts more and more. And all that for good reasons, indeed it has been quickly expanding those last few months; according to the Super Data study on the mobile gaming market in China, the market will weigh 3 billion dollars on 2014.

On the contrary, the US market – which should represent 3.2 billion of revenue for 2014 – shows significant signs of fatigue, so much that the Chinese market should overtake it in 2015, according to the same study. In Europe expenses are still growing but at a slower pace than the one noticed in the most populated country in the world. In opposition with worldwide trends, Android is leading the race in China, in front of Apple’s iOS. Hence, the revenue per paid users increased of 20% last year, and the investment on mobile marketing more than doubled from January 2013 to January 2014.

Users’ monetization, challenge of the year to come?

The Chinese audience should reach 266 million people in 2015 against 242 million in the United States. As per the Super Data study, the question of the monetization of this wide audience remains the key challenge for the future of mobile games. Plus, following the GPC China Games Market Report, there are 80,000 app developers who are releasing about 100 games a day, which makes it even more complicated for games to be visible and thus monetized.

The game publishers will have to refine their economic models, and think more in terms of quality and performance than in terms of clicks to ensure them sustainable visibility and incomes. However, all the market observations allow optimism. Chinese gamers as American ones got used to the freemium model, seems more and more opened to spend money through mobile apps and there is a higher trust given to payments via mobile. Nonetheless, American players are not the only ones to play big on the market, the Chinese publisher FunPlus, publisher of the famous Facebook game “Family Farm”, just raised 74 million US dollars to finance its activity. Situation to keep a look on for the next few months then!

And you, what do you think? Is China a big player for sure in your opinion? Are there any other countries that we underestimate and that could compete with China in the near future? Do you think that targeting quality to advertise mobile games is the next step for game publishers?

We are impatient to see what you are thinking about this hot topic!