2020 China Mobile Game Industry Research Report

2020 China Mobile Game Industry Research Report

Core summary:

China’s mobile game market has kept rising steadily. In 2019, the market revenue was approximately 209.16 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 27.1%; the number of mobile game users was approximately 660 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.1%.

The total number of game license issued is up to our expectation, and casual games are easier to get through.

The life cycle of mobile games has been significantly extended: about 40% of the mobile game products on the TOP30 best-selling list in 2019 have been in operation for more than 3 years.

There is a vague line between light game and heavy game. The gameplay of combining those two kind of game became mainstream trend.

Also the time of distribution pipeline being the No.1 choice has past, Traffic-buying and game platform like Taptap in China has given game companies more choices.

A Brief Review of Chinese Mobile Game Market

2020 Chinese game market scale

The high-quality products and refined operation helped Chinese game market get through the cold winter.

In 2019, the revenue of China’s game market was approximately 288.48 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 17.1%.

After the frozen period of license- inavailable in 2018, Chinese game companies cherish the licensed games than ever, which make the fundamental principle of “high quality+refined operation” became the whole industry trend.

2020 Chinese game market segments

Three big competitors might come to cooperation

PC client games: With the quick development of esports, the declining of PC game market scale has been slowed. Also the stand-alone games are becoming more and more popular so we think PC client games will still stand in Chinese game market in the future.

PC Web Games: Since 2018 a lot of web game players started playing H5 games and mobile games. However with the special characters(play with mouse in a short time) that can’t be replaced, Web games have become a kind of supplement for PC client games and console games.

Mobile Games: The mobile game market has matured with great game experience and the high-speed development of mobile phone can meet the basic needs both for gamers and developers.

Now comes the cloud gaming era and the mobile screen is still one the most important game devices.

2020=Chinese mobile game market scale

Maintain stable growth in a short time, waiting for new technology innovation

The total market scale of Chinese mobile games is about 209.16 billion yuan, a YoY growth of 27%. Whether it is the industry reshuffle caused by the changed rule of game license, or the industry innovation brought about by newly-emerged technologies such as 5G and cloud gaming, it is possible to completely change the industry.

2020 Chinese Game Market User Scale

Game is the most popular recreation activity

In 2019, the number of mobile gamer in China was approximately 660 million. We could say that games, as a low-threshold, low-cost entertainment activity, have become a common part of most people’s lives.

Number of Chinese game companies got shut down in 2019

More than half number of mobile game companies got shut down.

According to the CCTV Financial News on January 13, 2020, a total of 18,710 game companies got closed in 2019 (9,705 in 2018), an increase of 92.79% year-on-year. The main reason why a large number of small and medium-sized game companies have left the business is still the game license problem.

Summary of Chinese Mobile Game Getting License in 2019

The total number is within our expectation and casual games are easier to get a license

In 2019 there are 1570 games that got licensed, among 1462 are mobile games. From the market level the game released can meet the players’ needs in a basic way and there won’t be a “famine for a game”; from the market level Ultralisk Game is the company getting the most licenses except Tencent Games and Netease. The games that got licensed mainly are light-casual games with easy gameplay, which is easier to get a license.

Investments in 2020 Chinese mobile game market

The reduced products leads to declined investments

Since 2018 when the number of game licenses dropped significantly, the investment amount in Chinese game market also decreased.

Game companies getting IPO in 2020

XD.com and CMGE got listed on Hong Kong stocks

XD.com has the prime game sharing community Taptap while CMGE has dozens of important IPs, in 2019 these two companies finished their IPO in HK stock market. Shengqu Games, which is back to the A-shares company. Card game manufacturer Hometown Interactive and Zen Game also landed in Hong Kong stocks with stable income.

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