The gaming industry data in 2023 H1

September 4, 2023

During the first half of this year, the domestic gaming market in China experienced a slight decline in actual sales revenue, reaching 144.263 billion yuan. However, there was a notable month-on-month growth of 22.2%, indicating signs of recovery. The year-on-year decline was primarily attributed to slow consumer recovery from January to April. Although revenue increased significantly from May onwards, it was not enough to offset the earlier decline. Based on this trend, a strong rebound is expected in the second half of the year.

The number of gaming users in China reached a historical high of 668 million during the same period, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 0.35%.

Domestically developed games generated actual sales revenue of 121.784 billion yuan in the domestic market, showing a year-on-year decrease of 2.25%, but a month-on-month growth of 24.5%.

Overseas sales revenue for self-developed games amounted to 8.206 billion US dollars, representing an 8.72% year-on-year decrease. Economic downturn in major overseas markets, along with international conflicts, exchange rate fluctuations, and intensifying market competition, contributed to a decline in user consumption willingness and capability, resulting in increased marketing costs.

The United States, Japan, and South Korea remained the major overseas markets for mobile games in China, accounting for 31.77%, 19.65%, and 8.50% respectively. Germany, the United Kingdom, and France collectively held a market share of nearly 10%. Emerging markets in the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia continued to show growth.

Among the top 100 self-developed mobile games in terms of overseas revenue, strategy and role-playing games held a combined share of over 50%, while shooting and casual games accounted for 8.79% and 8.44% respectively. Strategy games still dominated, but the gap between the top two genres has been narrowing in recent years. The combined revenue share of the top three genres decreased from over 70% last year to less than 60% in the first half of this year.

Mobile games maintained their dominant position in the domestic market, accounting for 73.97% of actual sales revenue in the segmented market, despite a slight year-on-year decrease. Client games accounted for 22.84% of the revenue, displaying growth, while web games continued to decline, representing only 1.64% of the market.

During January to June, actual sales revenue in China's mobile gaming market reached 106.705 billion yuan, reflecting a decrease of 3.41% compared to the same period last year, but a significant month-on-month growth of 29.2%, indicating strong recovery momentum.

Among the top 100 mobile games in terms of revenue, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games accounted for 16.72%, shooting games accounted for 16.37%, and role-playing games accounted for 13.57%. The combined share of these three genres was 46.66%, with a noticeable decline in the revenue share of role-playing games.

Actual sales revenue of client games in China reached 32.943 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year growth of 7.17%. This growth was attributed to the steady increase in leading esports and anime games, as well as the simultaneous release of new games on both mobile and PC platforms.

Web games experienced an 11.87% year-on-year decrease in actual sales revenue, amounting to 2.385 billion yuan, continuing the downward trend.

The console gaming market in China recorded actual sales revenue of 747 million yuan during January to June, representing a year-on-year decrease of 15.16%. Overall, domestic console game releases performed weaker compared to the same period last year.

The esports market in China generated actual sales revenue of 64.476 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 1.2%. The industry is gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic, and the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games is expected to further boost the esports market. It's important to note that the mentioned esports revenue data does not include revenue from esports livestreaming, club operations, and events. For more detailed esports data, please refer to the separately released "China Esports Industry Report."

The domestic casual mobile gaming market generated actual sales revenue of 16.705 billion yuan during January to June, showing a year-on-year decrease of 1.55%. In-app purchases accounted for 10.878 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year growth of 4.21%. The overall revenue decline was mainly attributed to a decrease in advertising revenue.

Major app stores in China continued to dominate the gaming platform market. The Apple App Store, Huawei AppGallery, and the OPPO store accounted for a significant portion of the revenue generated from mobile games.

The regulatory environment for the gaming industry in China remained stringent. The government continued to implement measures to control the gaming time of minors and regulatecontent. These regulations have had an impact on the gaming industry, particularly in terms of revenue generated from younger players.

Looking ahead, the Chinese gaming industry is expected to continue its recovery in the second half of the year. The increasing number of gaming users and the growing popularity of mobile gaming are likely to contribute to the industry's growth. Additionally, the release of new games, advancements in technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, and the development of esports are expected to drive the market forward. However, regulatory challenges and intense market competition may pose obstacles to the industry's growth.