Online games market in China grew 32% to $6.6 billion in 2011, according to Pearl Research

San Jose, CA, March 28, 2012 – Leading business intelligence and consulting firm Pearl Research forecasts the online games market in China, inclusive of MMORPG, casual, social and web games was valued at $6.6 billion in 2011, up 32%.  We expect the market to exceed $9.2 billion by 2014. These findings are contained in Pearl Research’s new 160-page “Games Market in China” study.

Pearl Research’s findings:

-         Game operators in China experienced strong revenue growth in 2011. Top game operators, in descending order, are Tencent with $2.5 billion in games revenue in 2011, Netease (NASDAQ: NTES) with $1 billion in games revenue, Shanda Games (NASDAQ:GAME) with $838 million, Changyou (NASDAQ: CYOU) with $485 million in revenues, and Perfect World (NASDAQ: PWRD) with $474 million. These top 5 companies generated a combined $5.3 billion in revenues.

-     Web games, which can be played in a browser, and are accessible and user-friendly is expected to grow to more than $1 billion in 2013 from approximately $800 million in 2011.  Included in the study are an analysis of web game trends, along with top web game companies and titles. More than 60% of web games released are in the role-playing (RPG) genre. Tencent’s top web game, Qi Xiong Zheng Ba, has more than 800,000 peak concurrent users.

-            One emerging trend is the popularity of micro-client version of games. Micro-client files are generally smaller, less than 50MB compared to more than 1GB for a typical client-based game. This significantly cuts down on a users’ download time of the game to under 15 minutes with a broadband connection.  The small size of micro-client software is convenient and appealing to users, especially those users on game portals and social networking platforms.

Pearl Research’s “Games Market in China” study provides an in-depth analysis of the Chinese games market. The report contains forecasts for MMOs, web games, mobile, social games; inhibitors and drivers to growth; deep marketplace analysis; profiles of key market players; analysis of virtual currencies; and strategic conclusions. Please call  (+1) 415-738-7660 or email research (at) for more information about this study.

About Pearl Research

Pearl Research, a business intelligence and consulting firm, specializes in the digital entertainment and technology markets with a special focus on emerging markets and platforms.  Based in the San Jose area and China, Pearl Research publishes in-depth research reports and provides customized research and consulting services. Visit us at  

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