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BizReport : Internet : April 04, 2012

Survey: Two-thirds of China's 180 million gamers pay to play

China is outpacing the world in many arenas, one of which is paying to play online. According to new data from Asian video game market intelligence firm Niko Partners, 64% of China's millions of online gamers spend money while playing each month.

by Helen Leggatt

niko logo.jpgIn January of this year China's online population had risen to 513 million, according to the government-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center.

Roughly a third of China's online population, 180 million, play online games, according to Niko Partners' "2012 Chinese Gamers Study". Online gaming is big business generating $5.8 billion in revenues.

Niko Partners' recent survey of 500 gamers in China reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) now pay to play each month. According to Forbes, that's a far higher percentage than in other developing countries.

"In examining the rapidly evolving Chinese games market, we see that casual, social, and mobile games have all captured the hearts of hardcore and occasional gamers alike," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners.

"Online games revenues are now more distributed among various platforms and genres than they have been in past years, when MMORPGs compiled the vast majority of domestic revenue."

With China's Internet penetration rate at just 37.7% there's plenty of room for growth in the gaming world unlike in other countries, including the U.S., where Internet penetration is already at around 75%.

Tags: casual gaming, China, MMORPGs, online games, online gaming, online population

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