Chinese gamers growing "weary of the monotony" of MMORPGs

Market analyst predicts shift towards casual games will see it generate $3bn a year by 2014

A report by Chinese market analyst Niko Partners believes that the country's gamers are shifting from hardcore MMOs towards a more casual experience, driven buy the "monotony of themes" and a need to engage with a wider variety of users.

Niko Partners, which specialises in analysis of the Chinese videogames market, believes that the casual sector will account for 30 per cent of all online gaming revenues in China by 2014, making it worth $3 billion (£1.89bn) a year.

Currently, Niko values the Chinese market at $3.8 billion (£2.4bn) a year, with casual gamers making up 23 per cent of that market. By 2014, Niko Partners expects there to be 141 million online gamers in China.

"We believe that the Chinese market has taken up SNS (social networking site) gaming in earnest, and that the hard-core gamers have shifted their preferences to include these games alongside the casual gamers who naturally appreciate them, " Niko Partners' Lisa Cosmas Hanson told

"The hardcore gamers are growing weary of the monotony of themes in the Chinese MMORPGs, and they want to extend their social interactions to games that attract a more diverse user base. People want to play games that enable them to have something to bond over when chatting with schoolmates or colleagues at the water cooler. "

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Latest comments (11)

Radu Ciu Product Manager, Alliance Computers11 years ago
Hardcore gamers want something more casual? Errm, i'm not sure i'm really getting this right but it just feels terribly wrong.
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"i'm not sure i'm really getting this right but it just feels terribly wrong."

...As if 1.3 billion avatars cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 11 years ago
He's right about the monotony, the power of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. :P
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Show all comments (11)
gi biz ;, 11 years ago
Aka "Real hardcore chinese gamers are dead" - forgive the pun :)
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Boa Linxi Liu Studying Computing, Communications and Media, National University of Singapore11 years ago
gamers are gamers no matter what kind of game they play! hardcore gamers can enjoy casual games when they are using their mobile/ipad on a bus, or taking a 10 min tea break!
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Christopher Willis11 years ago
Well first off is this Niko Partners reliable? If so this is interesting, because I thought those in the east were all about games being work and achievement oriented. I guess times change.
This might be bad however for games like WoW, which is aiming for a more hardcore crowd with Cataclysm in their end game model.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Willis on 5th October 2010 5:03pm

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David Stenow11 years ago
I think the key phrase is "Chinese MMORPGs", in the final paragraph. I don't have any hard evidence for this, but I've gotten the impression that MMOs in mainland China are very different from their western counterparts. I don't remember the title of the game, but the PC Gamer Podcast had an interview a few months ago with a producer that was going to port a Chinese MMO to the western market. Apparently they had to do a major rework of the rules and stats of the game, because in its original form the challenge was absolutely non-existant (monsters were basically unable to kill player characters) and the only progress was via time spent. I realise a common claim among western MMO players is that this is true for their games as well, but (and don't quote me on this) if I recall correctly this Chinese MMO actually had a native bot function that allowed the player to let the game play itself. To our Chinese friends in this thread: am I correct in this impression?

I'm not sure how World of Warcraft looks in mainland China nowadays (apart from the absence of skeletons), but considering this I believe that the weariness of the so-called monotony is not referring to WoW in this case. It's hard to read from the article though, as it doesn't provide all that much evidence to its case.
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Emily Rose Artist 11 years ago
China sick of the grindfests ? There is hope, there is hope for mmos afterall :D
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
I've lost the ability to critically evaluate what the Chinese market is doing. Analysts could of said anything and I would find it impossible to question it.
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Bond Xu Head of Product Department, Ultizen Games11 years ago
Broadly observed phenomenon is players are playing several game in the same period. but most of players do have a defination of themself: I am a MMORPG(/casual game/SNG/Console game) player who OCCASIONAL play other types of game.

A MMOPRG player who play other types of game may spend lots of money in "other types of game", but they are still hard to retain. a typical thinking of them(i got this idea from interview with those gamers) is "because my MMORPG are currently lack of new content, so i play other game, when it got updated, i will go back".

but from another side, may we say players think so because SNG, casual game and browser game don't fascinate enough to the player?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bond Xu on 6th October 2010 2:59am

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Philipp Karstaedt Producer / Product & Project Manager 11 years ago
The question is, are becoming chinese gamers tired of the same old _MMORPGs_ or of the _same old_ MMORPGs?

Do they REALLY prefer social games nowadays or don't they simply want a more innovative MMORPG? Sadly, the article contains no link to the report :/
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