If you're thinking about bringing your mobile game to China, now might be a good time to do it.
According to a new report from market research firm Niko Partners, the Chinese mobile game market is predicted to grow roughly 93 percent to an estimated $2.9 billion by the end of this year, and reach a total playerbase of 288 million across iOS and Android devices.
By 2018, the firm believes the number of people playing mobile games in China will rise to 770 million.
This is in line with similar market reports by SuperData Research, who recently predicted that China's mobile game market is poised to surpass the U.S. market
. The region's rapid growth is believed to be due, in part, to the increasing availability of affordable Android devices.
Niko also claims that 38 percent of mobile game players in China will monetize this year, either via in-app purchases or paid downloads, and that number is expected to grow in the years to come.
"With roughly 4,000 mobile games published in China annually a company needs to understand the true demand and behavior of Chinese gamers in order to ascend to the top of the rankings and generate significant revenue,” stated Niko Partners founder Lisa Cosmas Hanson in a press release advertising the report.
So what are people playing in China? According to Niko the most popular games are casual Android titles, like the match-3 puzzle games which have spread across mobile social networks like WeChat -- and are believed to have triggered a Chinese mobile market boom
The report is based on data compiled from market surveys and regional app stores in partnership with mobile analytics company App Annie. The analysts looked at the 20 top grossing and most popular apps on China's iOS App Store in June, then ranked apps based on downloads and revenue across a selection of China's top Android app stores and paired that data with information gleaned from market surveys.
If you're interested in learning more, Niko Partners sells access to its full reports via its website