Games industry analysts Newzoo have put together a new report on the state of the business in 2017, so it’s time to talk figures and data (I promise not to patronise you by acting like data isn’t interesting – we all know it is). Headline findings include a small decrease in PC boxed/digital revenues, yet a significant opportunity for PC properties in China.
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Indeed, Newzoo go so far as to say “the Chinese appetite for top Western PC games holds the key to new truly global franchises.”
According to the figures, China already generates $27.5 billion in gaming revenue. That’s over $2 billion more than the second-placed USA and miles ahead of third-placed Japan ($12.5 billion) and fourth-placed Germany ($4.8 billion). That lead looks set to grow further, partly because China’s online population as a percentage of its total is way lower than anywhere else in the top ten, but also because China’s strong interest in Western games – particularly PC properties – is only recently getting answered.
This year, we’ve seen Chinese giants Tencent cutting local publishing deals for Rocket League, Paragon, Paladins, and many others, whileValve look to launch CS:GO in Chinato contend with their rival, Crossfire. The world’s biggest gaming market is only now opening up to our favourite PC games, so expect leading Western devs to continue investing in China to assure growth in the longer term.
Speaking of growth, Pacific Asia’s revenues as a region increased year-on-year by 9.2%, but that’s not even the most impressive figure. Though much smaller markets, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are growing by 13.9% and 25% respectively. Even in mature markets, growth remains strong – North America grew by 4% and the Western EU by 4.8%. No region’s revenues shrunk.
Elsewhere in the report, the trend towards digital monetisation and ‘live’ or ‘service’ games is highlighted, at the expense of traditional single-player games. Accordingly, the biggest games companies are becoming full-service global entertainment companies. Mobile gaming is still the biggest platform at 42% of the market, and looks to be taking a bite out of the PC space, with PC revenues declining across browser games (down 9.3%, as casual PC gamers leave for mobile), and boxed/downloaded games (down 1.3%).
The games industry globally has expanded by 56% in the five years since Newzoo launched, from $70 billion to $109 billion this year.
You can read the report in full here.