Market intelligence firm, Niko Partners, has released some of the findings from its latest report into China's videogames industry, predicting that the online games business in the country will be worth an estimated $9.2 billion in 2014.
That's up from £3.57 billion in 2009 and a predicted $4.5 billion for this calendar year, working on the basis of a compound annual growth rate of 20.9 per cent over the next five years.
"While the global economic downturn hurt videogame publishers in much of the world, China's online game industry reflected no pain in 2009 and gamers continued to embrace online games as the best inexpensive source of social entertainment available," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners.
"While the era of online gaming is generating lots of interest and growth opportunity in the West, China is one of the countries where online gaming is a well established market segment that extends its reach to more and more Chinese consumers every year."
The report also looks into the successful business models in the region, and found that 63 per cent of gamers surveyed had increased their online games spend in the past year, while 65 per cent of gamers use internet cafes at least part of the time.
It's also estimated that the number of online gamers in China will grow from 68 million in 2009 to 141 million in 2014.
An interview with Hanson, conducted at last year's Games Convention Asia in Singapore, is available now.