In brief: China's online PC games market is well on its way to becoming a $16 billion industry by 2023. The country is the largest market for online PC games and accounted for more than half of all revenue generated worldwide in 2018 for the industry. The enormous PC playerbase behind this growth is expected to surpass the entire U.S population by 2023 when there will be 354 million PC gamers in China wasd'ing and clicking away at their computers.
Leading Asian game market research and consulting firm Niko Partners recently put out a report focusing on the Chinese PC online games market. The report summarizes the 2018 year for PC gaming in China and projects the industry's growth for the year 2023.
It's important to note that a similar milestone was reached by China five years ago when market research company EEDAR revealed at the 2014 Games Marketing Summit in San Francisco that the number of gamers in China had overtook the total number of citizens in the U.S. Now, though, the Chinese online PC community alone is set to beat that figure in the next few years.
It's definitely not been a walk in the park for the overall gaming industry in China as it had its fair share of troubles and government regulations. From banning corpses and blood to temporary freezing licenses for new games to forming a game ethics committee, the online PC games market in China, despite these challenges, has soldiered on to generate an impressive $15.21 billion revenue in 2018.
The leading contributor to this figure was the Esports community. It made $6.3 billion or 41.4 percent of the entire revenue made by the PC online games market. By 2023, Esports revenue is expected to reach $9.5 billion.
Another key takeaway from the report are the number of players who spend money in games. Out of 312.4 million online PC gamers, 79.7 million (25.5 percent) have spent money on in-game items like skins and loot boxes.
With an ever growing community of in-game spenders in China and globally, publishers and developers are likely to further push game-design features like microtransactions, loot boxes and in-game purchases to earn more from releases.