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Every moment of every day, 2 million Chinese people are playing games

By on December 11, 2009

If you ever doubted that China is the mainstay of online gaming, the Financial Times dispelled it this morning.

  • 2 million young Chinese playing games at any moment
  • 64 per cent. of all Chinese Internet users are gamers (that’s 217 million people)
  • China is expected to generate half of all online revenues by 2012, generating $6 billion

The full article is interesting, but the most illuminating point was deeply ambiguous:

But analysts say Chinese online games companies may need to adjust their business models beyond efforts to tweak their game development structures. “One main difference between Chinese and US gaming companies is their monetisation model. In the US, most gamers pay upfront by buying a CD,” says Alicia Yap, analyst at Citigroup. “In China, revenues are generated mainly by paying for in-game virtual items or for playing time.”

Does that mean that China analysts are saying that Chinese online games companies should be thinking about charging for buying a CD? I suspect not, and the FT article is misleading.

But if so, it would be an irony if the Western was galloping headlong towards the Chinese model while the Chinese are trying to get their online products into boxes.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: