Dynamic shift away from MMORPGs in China’s Online Games Market

SAN JOSE, Calif. – September 18, 2012 – Niko Partners, the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence™, today released highlights from the company’s Mid-year Analysis on China’s PC Online Games Market asserting that the emergence of demand for webgames (defined as hard-core browser based games, akin to those in the US by companies such as Kixeye and Kabam) has effectively increased the share of market revenue held by private game companies in China. Meanwhile the growth in online games services revenue of publicly traded online operators has slowed in relation to the overall market revenue. While the overall market grew 37% in 2012, the revenues of the large publicly traded online operators grew a slower, yet still respectable 26%. This could be because most of the public companies have line ups dominated by MMORPGs, whereas faster growth is coming from the other online games segments.

The exception is Tencent, whose advanced casual games (including MMOFPS and MOBA games) dominate the Top 5 in that segment. Tencent’s dominance in advanced casual games with titles such as League of Legends and Cross Fire has catapulted the company to take roughly half of the market share for PC online games in mainland China. Companies hoping to be competitive in China’s market should review Niko’s Monthly I-café Games Data as well as our market research studies to understand the dynamics in the market.

“For several years Niko has cautioned that the repetitive theme of cultural mythical history MMORPGs in China was beginning to bore gamers, and that new types of games would be necessary to revive waning demand for those games,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. “Now we can see from the data that it is a demand driven market and gamers, particularly those in their teens and twenties, are eager to try newer themes.”  Niko’s senior analyst Kevin Hause added “In addition, Niko has witnessed that demand for mobile games has disrupted PC online games growth, particularly within the segments of casual and social games.”

Niko’s analysis comes from the company’s Monthly Chinese Internet Café Games Data service, ongoing Shanghai-based local research, and a review of the publicly traded companies’ financial statements from Q1 and Q2 2012. Niko offers market research for every budget by way of individual reports, consulting at an hourly rate, an annual subscription of 10 deliverables in the 2012 China Games Market Research, and the Monthly I-café Games Data service. The August deliverable in the annual subscription was Niko’s Mid-Year 2012 Internet Café Games Usage Data Analysis, which is an excellent companion to the monthly I-café games data. In September we will publish Niko’s Location of Gameplay and Gaming Hardware Report.

Purchase Niko’s reports at http://www.nikopartners.com/researchstore < http://www.nikopartners.com/researchstore> or by contacting sales@nikopartners.com < mailto:info@nikopartners.com> . Contact us or visit http://www.nikopartners.com < http://www.nikopartners.com> for subscription information. You can also follow us on Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/nikochina < http://www.twitter.com/nikochina> ) or subscribe to our free newsletter analyzing important Asian games market news analysis at http://bit.ly/niko_news.


Niko Partners is the leader in Asian Games Market Intelligence™, specializing in the Chinese and Southeast Asian game markets. Founded in 2002 and celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, the firm conducts syndicated and custom research studies on Chinese gamers, Southeast Asian gamers, online games, offline games, consoles, handhelds, regulatory issues, piracy, development, online operators, distribution, and retail. Niko Partners also offers consulting services including focus groups, partnership selection, market opportunity analysis, custom surveys in cities throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region and customized data analysis. The goal of the research and strategic advisory services is to help understand the market, strategically enter or expand market share, and continue to profitably grow within China and Southeast Asia’s impressive markets.

The company is based in Silicon Valley and Shanghai, and its clients include worldwide leaders in game software, hardware, and services, as well as hedge funds, media companies, trade associations, and management consulting firms, all of whom have a vested interest in a thorough understanding of the games industry in Southeast Asian and China.

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