Chinese Market Revenue of Browser-Based Games Will Grow 41% in 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. - August 8, 2012 - Niko Partners, the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence™, today announced the availability of a new report called China's Casual and Social Online Games 2012 with analysis of the three segments of browser-based games: webgames, casual online games, and social networking service (SNS) games, including a market size and 5-year forecast.

While massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) that require client-software downloads comprise the majority of revenue in China's PC online games market today, browser-based games are pushing the market to new heights. In 2011 Niko's "Casual" segment (including webgames) and SNS segment enjoyed the fastest growth rates within China's enormous $7.0 billion online games market, and they do not require client-software downloads because they are played in the browser.

"The buzzword in Chinese online games today is webgames," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. "These games can be played at home, in offices, and in I-cafés because they do not require a download, and they are challenging enough to compete against client-based MMOGs."

Kevin Hause, senior analyst of Niko, went on to say, "Social games captured the interest of occasional gamers, took hard-core gamers away from MMOGs, and welcomed tens of millions of new gamers to China's games market. At Niko we believe that client-based MMOGs will continue to generate the majority of revenue in China but webgames and social games will comprise an increasing market share."

Key takeaways from Niko's China's Casual and Social Online Games Report include:

  • Social games are the most used applications on social networking sites such as Qzone, Pengyou, and
  • The webgames market is fragmented with low barriers to entry yet fewer infrastructure restrictions than the MMOG market.
  • Casual games played through portals and social games played through SNS sites will continue to broaden the gaming population across the spectrum of age, geography and income.

The 28-page report is available in our research store or by contacting, for $3,500. Niko has changed our annual subscription format in 2012 and now publishes 10 deliverables for subscribers, with 5 of those reports available for individual sale upon completion. In August we will publish Niko's Mid-Year 2012 Internet Café Games Usage Data Analysis, available to subscription clients only.

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