China’s games sales fell 10.33% in 2022

China’s games industry saw significant struggles in 2022, thanks in part to a lengthy hiatus in games licensing and new restrictions on the playtime of underaged users.

At the 2022 China Game Industry Annual Conference, first vice chairman of the China Audiovisual and Digital Publishing Association and chairman of the game working committee Zhang Yijun released the 2022 China Game Industry Report, showing a decline of 10.33% in 2022, with a market gross of 265.9 billion yuan ($39 billion).

The number of gamers in the country also saw a slight decline, falling 0.33% to 664 million.

Techcrunch reports that Chinese gaming companies are increasingly expanding abroad as they attempt to maintain their growth. Notably, many companies are attempting to hide their origins in an attempt to avoid any backlash due to being Chinese companies, with the site pointing to India’s banning of many Chinese games following the souring of relations between the two countries.

Techcrunch also notes that this diversification includes not just opening new studios outside of China, but expanding beyond their traditional mobile focus. Tencent, for example, is currently working on a new game console at its LA based Lightspeed outpost, most famous for the development of the mobile version of PUBG.

Crisis and opportunity

Despite the issues facing the Chinese mobile gaming industry, it remains the world’s foremost mobile market, and the country has seen numerous successes. Original IPs accounted for 53% of the country’s top-grossing mobile games for the year, followed by games based on existing IPs (23%), literary works (7%) and host or stand-alone games (6%).

The company also saw strong performance from numerous different genres. Fantasy games made up 25% of China’s 100 top-grossing mobile games, followed by what Yijun refers to as “weak themes” (18%) and historical games (13%).

Fantasy also pulled ahead in terms of revenue streams, accounting for 22%. This was followed by modern themed games (18%) and cultural fusion themes (14%). The success of the fantasy genre marks the third successive year that it’s held the number one spot in terms of both number of products and the proportion of turnover revenue.

We listed Tencent as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.

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