According to a report by market researcher Niko Partners, China’s mobile game players will hit 192 million by the end of this year, surpassing the number of PC players in China, which is expected to reach 180 million by year-end.
Another point raised in the report is that mobile game revenue is likely to grow six times from last year’s $600 million to billion dollars in the next five years.
VentureBeat cited Lisa Cosmas Hanson, the managing partner of Niko Partners saying that “Niko projects fast growth in mobile games revenue in China led by the rising adoption of 3G usage, soaring sales of smartphones from a wide array of vendors, and the desire to play entertaining, inexpensive games on these smart mobile devices”.
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Well, let’s take a look at some numbers.
According to ad agency GroupM Interaction, by 2011 in China there’re:
- 190 million smartphone users
- 360 million mobile Internet users
- 120 million 3G subscribers
which means at least 240 million mobile users access mobile Internet via much slower 2G network. And according to GSMA, China’s mobile Internet speed ranked second to last, only better than India.
My point here is, without a relatively mature mobile Internet infrastructure, China’s mobile gaming industry might not grow at the expected fast pace. Meanwhile, lacking of sophisticated mobile payment solution and attractive mobile titles are the other factors that hinder mobile monetization across the board.
screenshot of Wei Zhuang, a popular mobile game by Tencent