It has been just over a year since China lifted its longstanding ban on console sales, but Chinese gamers haven’t wasted any time diving in.
A report published by Newzoo lists the top 100 countries according to game revenues, and China takes the top spot by bringing in roughly $22.2 billion. In comparison, the U.S. took in around $21.9 billion, which puts it at a close second place, and outpaces the next three countries on the list (Japan, S. Korea, and Germany) combined. Both China and the U.S. taken together represent almost half of the $91 billion in global revenues earned by the gaming industry.
The top 10 countries for gaming revenue are: China, The United States of America, Japan, South Korea, Germany, The United Kingdom, France, Canada, Spain, and Italy. The last three have close numbers to each other.
Newzoo also reveals in a separate report that the highest earning game company in world is the Chinese owned Tencent Holdings Ltd, which has stakes in other game companies such as League of Legends developer Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, and Epic Games, makers of the Unreal Engine. Sony, Microsoft, EA, Activision are all listed respectively behind Tencent.
China continues to be an important and fast-growing market in Asia, but it isn’t alone. Japan and South Korea are third and fourth place earners, while Southeast Asia – particularly Thailand and Indonesia – are potential up-and-comers.
The massive growth in game revenues in China shouldn’t be much of a shock, considering how the country has been a market leader in mobile apps and saw explosive growth in mobile for quite some time, inspiring mobile game companies like Kabam and others to push aggressively into the market. Earlier this year, Kabam’s COO Kent Wakeford saw China as the company’s opportunity to develop the first “billion dollar video game.”
That same sentiment was heard when [a]listdaily spoke to Golden Gate Games co-founder Keith McCurdy, who described China’s mobile market as being on a “It’s on a hyper-growth trajectory,” doubling each year. McCurdy also remarked that at the time, “In the top ten games, five of them are Western games, things like Plants Vs. Zombies and Subway Surfers. There’s a huge, fast-growing market, and there’s a proven appetite for Western content.”
The Chinese love gaming, and they love being Number One, and now we have further evidence of that.