Chinese games market revenue to top $47 billion in 2023, marking recovery from first-ever decline last year

Niko Partners has updated its China Games Market 2023 Half-Year report, sharing new projections for the full year. The country is expected to see a rise in video game revenue after its first-ever decline in 2022.

Chinese games market revenue to reach $47.7 billion in 2023 after first-ever decline last year — Niko Partners

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  • The Chinese games market will reach $47.6 million in revenue in 2023, according to Niko Partners. This is a 5.2% increase from 2022, when the country experienced a 2.5% decline due to strict regulations and lower mobile spending.
  • Analysts now call 2023 a “year of recovery,” saying that the number of gamers will grow 1.63% year-over-year to 710.3 million.
  • One of the biggest reasons for the growth is a regular cadence of game approvals. In 2023, the National Press and Public Administration has already licensed 844 video games — compared to 512 and 755 titles in 2022 and 2021 respectively.
  • Niko Partners previously said the NPPA will license around 1,100 games this year, which is a huge improvement over 2022 and 2021 when both Chinese and foreign publishers suffered from a long licensing freeze.

  • Speaking of other reasons for revenue growth, analysts cited an “increased number of successful new game launches, higher spending on legacy titles, and continued access to unlicensed games on PC & console.”
  • In addition, total viewers and tips for Chiense streaming platforms like Douyu, Huya, and Bilibili increased by 6.2% and 12.7% year-over-year in the first nine months of 2023.
  • Despite some positive trends, Niko Partners expects the growth to be “partially offset by the weak Yuan and other macroeconomic challenges.”
  • According to the new forecast, the Chinese games market will surpass $56.7 billion in revenue in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% over the next five years. And the number of gamers is expected to reach 734.6 million.
  • The integration of AI tools into game development, new game releases, the normalization of game approvals, as well as higher player spending and esports industry growth are cited among the key factors behind the projected growth.
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