A new report from business analyst group Pearl Research suggests that the video games market in China will surpass $760 million in 2006, with 95 percent of revenues derived from the online games segment.
Other key findings of the report show that, despite the already massive user base in China, only 3 percent of the population (25 million people) play video games, and only 9 percent (111 million people) use the Internet. Growing affluence tied to China's booming economy has resulted in an expanding middle class with discretionary income to spend on entertainment and online services. By 2010, the report expects China to be a top ten worldwide games market.
The current 111 million Internet users is up from 52 million in 2002, with early 56 percent of Internet access being via broadband. The full report, entitled “Games Market in China: Opportunities and Challenges", also contains rankings of top publishers and titles, inhibitors and drivers to the growth of online games and a discussion of the packaged PC and console market.
Allison Luong, managing director of Pearl Research, commented, "The Chinese online games market is expected to cross the $1 billion mark by 2009, driven by the launch of innovative and compelling content, the addition of new Internet users and a growing casual games market."