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Chinese online game market set for growth

New research on the Chinese videogame market suggests that online games are a key growth area - although reports from different analysts show wildly differing figures for the actual worth of the sector.

New research on the Chinese videogame market suggests that online games are a key growth area - although reports from different analysts show wildly differing figures for the actual worth of the sector.

A report from Niko Partners and the International Development Group suggests that revenues from online games in China will be around $96 million this year, growing to $127 million by 2006, with some 370,000 people playing MMORPGs for at least 60 hours a month.

The study suggests that online gaming revenues in the territory are largely unaffected by the huge market for pirate goods in China, since revenue comes from the provision of a service rather than from an easily copied product. Niko Partners estimates that the Chinese market for pirate videogames is worth over $100 million, at an average price of $1 per game.

Meanwhile, another report - this time from the Xinhua News Agency - suggests that the online game market in China is even bigger than Niko acknowledges, pegging the earnings of China's online game makers at $250 million this year.

According to Xinhua, well over half of China's Internet using population (estimated at 78 million people) play online games, making it into a very important industry for both game makers and telecommunications companies.

Xinhua reports that online gaming is now a part of the Chinese national science and technology program, and as such enjoys tax breaks and widespread governmental support.

Further Reading: [Online games making big bucks in China - Gamespot]

External Link: [Niko Partners]

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.