Niko Partners, the leading analyst and market data research firm on the China and Southeast Asia video game markets, recently released their 2019 China PC Online Games Market Report and 2019 China Mobile Games Market Report. Here are some highlights from the studies:

Market Size

  • China is the world’s largest market for PC online games accounting for 50% of all PC Game revenue.
  • China’s domestic PC online game revenue was $15.21 billion in 2018.
  • China’s domestic Revenue is forecast to remain strong, reaching $16 billion by 2023.
  • China domestic mobile game revenue was $15.63 billion in 2018, up 28.9% from the previous year.
  • China domestic mobile game revenue is forecast to reach $25.5 billion by 2023.
  • China total game revenue is projected to reach $41.49 billion in 2023.

Player Base

  • There were 312.4 million PC online gamers in China in 2018 and 79.7 million (26%) of them spend money in games.
  • The number of PC online gamers in China is projected to reach 354 million in 2023.
  • There were 598 million mobile gamers in China in 2018, and 239 million (40%) of them spend money in games.
  • The number of mobile gamers in China is projected to reach 728 million in 2023.
  • Niko Partners projects that there will be 767 million total gamers in China, by 2023.
  • 95% of gamers in China play mobile games.

eSports

  • China has 138,000 internet cafes
  • eSports is currently the most important long-term driver of growth for the PC online games market.
  • PC eSports game revenue was $6.3 billion in 2018, up 11.1% over 2017 and accounting for 41.4% of total PC online games revenue.
  • PC eSports game revenue is projected reach $9.5 billion in 2023, accounting for 59.4% of total PC online games revenue.
  • Mobile eSports game revenue was $5.6B in 2018, and accounted for 36% of total mobile games revenue.
  • Mobile eSports game revenue is projected to reach $11.5B in 2023, 45% of total mobile games revenue.

Niko Partners released their Southeast Asia Gamer Segmentation Study today. Niko is the premier market research agency for video game research and insights for China and Southeast Asia and we have long relied upon Lisa Cosmas Hanson and her team for excellent data. I recommend them highly to anyone looking for deeper knowledge in the region. Here’s some of the key findings:

  • Southeast Asian gamers prefer games that foster community, teamwork, and competition.
  • 60% of GSEA gamers are strongly drawn to esports.
  • 42% of GSEA gamers fall into the segment of competitive arena gamers, who love esports and who spend the most of all the segments ($15.8/month on PC games, and $10.1/month on mobile games).

Last month, the German game association GAME put out their guide to the German games industry. Here’s a link to the current report.

Development Industry Numbers

  • 520 companies in that are active in the development and marketing of games
  • The industry employs over 11,000 people
  • 50 million euros have been allocated to the federal budget in 2019 for the introduction of games funding
  • Applications for that funding will begin in the Autumn of 2019

Demographic Numbers

  • 34.3 million people in Germany play games; that’s almost half of all Germans
  • 47 percent of German gamers are women – that’s 16,121,000 female gamers
  • 53 percent of German gamers are men – that’s 18,179,000 male gamers
  • The average age of a gamer in Germany increased to over 36 in 2018

Device Numbers

  • 17.3 million PC players
  • 18.2 million Smartphone players
  • 16 million console players
  • 11.5 million tablet players

GDC is coming up and one session that should be relevant to anyone making a large game that needs the ability scale is on Friday, March 22nd at 1:30 PM in room 2000. Here’s a link to the announcement. Game development veterans from Boss Fight Entertainment, Certain Affinity, and Intel will be answering questions collected online for anyone interested in client/server architecture.

This is an approach to audience participation that takes full advantage of social media where anyone can ask a question here: https://www.leaseweb.com/events/game-developers-conference-sf-2019, or on Twitter @GamesNetworker using the hashtag #GDCBackendAMA.

After the session, Leaseweb has promised to post the responses in a blog post on their site. Maybe we can get someone there to live tweet the session.

 

On August 1st, the PlayStation 4 install base was 82.2 million. According to Sony, as of the 5th Anniversary of the PlayStation 4 launch on November 15th, 2018, the PlayStation 4 had sold:

  • 86.1 Million hardware units
  • 777.9 Million software units
  • That’s an attach rate of 9.03 software units per hardware unit.
  • Sony is averaging more than 275,000 hardware units per week, a number that should at least double during the holiday season.

NewZoo has put out some great infographics over the past several months forecasting 2018 game revenue, and it felt like time to do something with the data they have given out for free. They listed 2018 projected revenue by country and the gamer population for each of the top 13 countries in terms of market size, China, USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Spain, Italy, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil.

Since we’re never content to just know the size of the market, we played with the data a little more to get the annual projected revenue per player in each of the countries. We even broke it down to a daily average per player. Of course we don’t have the numbers on what percentage is paying in each country, but these numbers should help define the ballpark size.

All of this should be taken into consideration when looking at different countries to target with your games. Previously we looked at the top languages for game localization. If you want to download the XLSX file we used for these slides, it’s available at: 2018_Gamer_Market_Tables_Thanks_NewZoo-IDEA-10-16-2018

Warface, Mail.ru’s free-to-play FPS game that launched on September 18th on the PlayStation 4, has already picked up 1.3 million PlayStation 4 players worldwide (source: Gamasutra) in its first seven days.

That number is impressive considering that’s approximately 1.5 percent of all PlayStation owners based on our extrapolation that there are roughly 86 Million PlayStation 4 Consoles worldwide as of today (the last formal numbers released were July 31st, 2018 ~82.2 Million).

Here’s the breakdown of the audience numbers that has been released by Mail.ru:

  • USA – ~20 percent – 260,000 players
  • Germany – 12.5 percent – 162,500 players
  • France – 11.2 percent – 145,600 players
  • UK – 7.7 percent – 100,100
  • Brazil – 6 percent – 78,000
  • Russia – 5 percent – 65,000

 

 

When looking at translating a game, you need to look at the cost of the translation related to the potential return on investment for adding an additional language.

You also need to take into account the general purchasing habits of consumers in different countries that might predominantly speak a certain language. But, don’t assume someone wants to conduct transactions in French just because they reside in France for example. There is diversity in your target markets and loading up on languages can be very valuable in growing revenues.

Most people are more comfortable buying games, or purchasing In-App Purchases if their primary language is supported. Having conducted a transaction in French on Steam recently, I could get through it, and make the purchase because the flow was the same as when I purchased in English before, but there were more opportunities to abandon the purchase because it took longer to comprehend the steps.

So I pulled the Steam Hardware survey info and Added a column for what percentage of the Steam player audience you get by adding each new language up to the 12th most popular language.

According to VentureBeat :

  • PlayStation 4 has now reached 82.2 Million units sold
  • Sony expects to sell another 13.8 Million
  • The estimate is 96 Million units sold by the end of Sony’s Q4 March 31, 2019
  • IESherpa estimates that Sony will surpass 100 Million units sold in mid-July 2019

According to an article by Digi-Capital, the market for AR and VR investment over the past year was $3.6 Billion.

  • Four companies raised a combined $2.065 Billion of that $3.6 Billion
  • Magic Leap raised $963 Million
  • Improbable raised $502 Million 
  • Niantic raised $200 Million
  • Unity 3D Raised $400 Million

The also also stated that there will be 900 Million AR-enabled mobile devices by the end of 2018