While a lot of people have been claiming that mobile gaming is the next big boom and that all other forms of gaming will bow to the soon-to-be king of gaming known as casualware, the reality is that it's not really unfolding the way many analysts predicted. In fact, in China, mobile is still trying to gain traction but the real king of the ring resides in online gaming.
According to Techweb [via GI.biz], the Chinese gaming industry has expanded by a whopping 35.1 percent in year-over-year comparisons, bringing in a massive $9.1 billion dollars.
Why so much money? Emerging variances in PC gaming such as free-to-play, freemium and cash-shop focused gaming alternatives, in addition to digital distribution, have really helped seize the market corners in China.
If you think the numbers are a one-off for the fiscal year, think again. Niko Partners research and marketing issued estimates on the forecast of the Chinese gaming industry back in 2010, stating that they expected China to hit $9.2 billion by 2014. I guess they were off by a year and over by $100 million.
New estimates gathered expect the Chinese gaming industry to grow annually at a 12.4 percent rate and that the market will potentially hit $21.7 billion by 2017. Just to put that into perspective, China's gaming market would be equivalent to the revenue garnered from the entire console retail market. I guess there is money to be made on the PC platform, eh?
However, it's not all PC...0.1 percent of the revenue was actually from the home console market, but due to strict regulations by the Chinese Government it's not really possible for home consoles to take off due to being banned in mainland China.
And while I dismissed mobile gaming up top, it still contributed an impressive $520 million to China's overall annual revenue within the gaming sector. That's almost equivalent to what North American PC retail takes in, which was about $534 million in 2011.
I guess publishers working the Chinese gaming market have nothing but smiles stretching across their faces from ear-to-ear. And you can bet your bottom dollar all the positive news regarding the PC platform as the lead revenue maker will continue stay under-wraps whenever a big AAA publisher talks about how much money they're making and from what territories.