China is projected to hit the $3B mark in the mobile game industry by 2014 and everybody within the industry is preparing to target this region including major publishers such as King (Candy Crush Saga).
Digital gaming is entering its maturation stage and when that happens, changes are inevitably going to occur. The Chinese gaming market is an untapped vast expanse as it was previously a closed market but has recently opened up with Microsoft’s release of the Xbox One within. While this is exciting news for gamers throughout, mobile games are the key focus in this market as Chinese gamers are on track to spend $3 billion this year on mobile games alone. We will take a look at both the US mobile game industry as well as the Chinese mobile game industry and compare the two.
US VS Chinese Mobile Game Industry
The US mobile game industry is slowly becoming saturated with a steadily peaking growth rate which is much lower than its Chinese counterpart. Because of this fact, many influential mobile game publishers such as King have shifted their attention from the western market that once dominated to the newly open Chinese market. Tencent Games, a large player in the gaming industry within China, have recently published a deal with King to release Candy Crush Saga in China which is projected to be a huge hit.
China’s mobile industry, as compared to the US, is dominated by Android which is completely different with the rest of the world because the Apple iPhone dominates most markets. This is a huge cause of concern as well as a potential market with unlimited growth possibilities as the Chinese gaming market is enormous.
Research and Statistics
Based on recent research done by SuperData Research, Xsolla has seen that China’s average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) and conversion rate have both increased by more than 20% since last year. The US also saw much success as it’s respective ARPPU hit $21 which is a direct result from a new mid-level mobile gamer base as well as from an ever-increasing spender confidence. Marketing within China costs double that of the US however, CPI (cost per install) grows 36% in response to market saturation.
A Final Look
Developers have a tough challenge to face ahead of them as the gaming industry is becoming more and more congested with increasingly competitive and industry standardized free-to-play games. The shift in the development in category of games is inevitable and is seen through different marketing techniques adopted by large developers. It will be interesting to see how the opening of the Chinese mobile gaming industry will have an effect on the gaming market as a whole, even in the US.