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China now leads the world in game revenues - Newzoo

China's game industry is worth $22.2bn, ahead of the US at $21.96bn

Research firm Newzoo today released its Top 100 Countries by Game Revenues report, revealing that for the first time China has surpassed the US in total game revenues. With a population four times greater than the US and an internet audience more than double the US, China's 2015 game revenues are estimated to be $22.2 billion, just ahead of the US at $21.96 billion. The complete list is available at the link above but you can peruse the top 25 countries in the table below.

As you can see, the top 20 countries will generate an estimated $83.0 billion this year, which is the bulk (over 90 percent) of worldwide game revenues. With China in the lead, it's interesting to note that Asia Pacific countries now comprise nearly half of total global revenues. You might assume that mobile gaming is what's leading to China's surge, and while mobile continues to grow quickly, PC gaming still dominates China, Newzoo explained, at $15.2 billion this year (68 percent of total Chinese revenues).

Also of note is that Southeast Asia is moving up the ladder very quickly. "Thailand remains Southeast Asia's biggest earner. Thai revenues will reach $338 million in 2015, up +42.2 from the previous year, making Thailand the 23rd largest games market in the world. Hot on Thailand's trail, Indonesia will gain six ranks this year to take position 24 and generate $313 million in revenues, an astounding increase of +52 percent on 2014. With explosive growth rates like these, it wouldn't be too surprising to see a Southeast Asian country break into the top 20 in 2016," Newzoo observed.

Another country to keep an eye on is India, which has jumped five ranks this year to be the 18th largest games market in the world, according to Newzoo. It's expected that India will have 159 million gamers who will generate revenues of $428 million this year, which would represent 62 percent growth over 2014.

"By 2018, the Indian games market, driven primarily by the mobile segment, will break the billion dollar mark, representing an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +49.2 percent for 2014-2018. This makes India one of the fastest growing games markets in the world and on its way to being a major global player. Increasingly, international companies are turning their focus to India, especially following recent news that Apple and Google have lowered the minimum price for apps and in-app purchases there," Newzoo remarked.

While the US remains firmly in second place at the moment, the explosion of game revenues in other parts of the world means that countries in Western Europe are not as valuable on a global scale as they once were. Newzoo expects the overall Western European games market to reach $15.6 billion this year, which would be an increase of just under two percent year-on-year, but individual countries are actually losing their positions in the top 100.

"Notably, the Netherlands will lose two spots, while Belgium and Norway will lose five positions each. Mexico will gain one place to be the 13th largest games market in 2015, while further down the ranking, Argentina and Colombia will also see slight gains. Brazil remains, Latin America's leader at $1.5 billion. In Middle East and Africa, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will also climb the ladder and overtake Western European countries in the process. Meanwhile, Germany will maintain its spot as the largest Western European games market and generate $3.7 billion, with TV/Console gaming taking the biggest share of the market," Newzoo said.

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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.