According to a new report, the online games industry in China has recorded massive growth in 2006, with revenues up 73.5 percent over 2005 to a total of 6.54 billion Yuan ($839 million), 65 percent of which came from domestically developed games.
As reported by Sina, and translated by Gamasutra partner Pacific Epoch, China's General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) digital publication vice director Kou Xiaowei announced the news of the industry growth.
Apart from the 4.24 billion Yuan ($544 mil) brought in by domestically developed games, $20 million in revenues was recorded for Chinese games exported overseas in 2006. Casual games were also reportedly responsible for 18.8 percent of the yearly growth, with a total revenue of 1.23 billion Yuan ($158 mil).
The Sina report notes that China currently houses 90 online game development companies, 25 in Beijing and 20 in Shangai alone. Development staff for the companies hit nearly 14,000 employees in 2006, a rise of 11 percent over the prior year. Despite the tremendous rise in revenue and staff, only 8 new online game companies were formed in 2006, compared to 24 in 2005.
Market research firm IDC has estimated that revenue from the Chinese online game market, which hosts an estimated 31 million players, will grow 30 percent annually to 25 billion Yuan ($3.2 billion) by 2011, according to a related report
from daily news site China Daily.