In 2016, the revenue of China’s online gaming market reached 176.8 billion Yuan, up 23.2% from 2015, in which mobile gaming accounted for 56.3% and exceeded PC gaming for the first time. Revenue of top enterprises in mobile game, browser game and PC client game sectors all rose in 2016. Elimination type games and parkour games had the highest penetration rate among mobile games. However, growth of the players of PC and mobile gaming decelerated and approached to the ceiling due to the exhaustion of demographic dividend. It can be seen that traditional game companies experienced a mixed story.
In 2016, mobile gaming surpassed PC gaming in both number of players and revenue and became the largest market segment in gaming industry. The number of mobile game players reached 521 million, while the number of PC game players was only 484 million. The number of mobile game players, after the explosive growth in the past few years, has approached its ceiling due to the exhaustion of demographic dividend, while the number of PC client game players maintained stable in the recent three years and floated around 450 million. iResearch holds the opinion that the growth of both PC and mobile game players has reached its bottleneck, therefore, further improvement of targeted operation, product innovation, industry integration and international development is urgently needed in China gaming market.
The revenue of China’s mobile gaming is distributed relatively evenly among the mobile gaming companies. Although Tencent and NetEase together grabbed a large market share of 55%, the fast developing and updating pace and mature industrial division of mobile gaming still leave a great developing room for many small- and medium-sized companies including many great games with a small RD team of less than 10 members. PC browser games have developed into a relatively stable stage, and the high promotion cost lift the entry barrier of the market, thus the market is dominated by medium-sized companies. PC client games market is the one with highest entry threshold among the three gaming market segments, and top companies hold 80% of the market.