Over the last decade, the sales revenue of gaming market in China saw over a ten-fold hike and passed the 230 billion yuan mark in 2019. With its immense popularity, mobile games became the key industry driver. In 2017, about 96 percent of the new games launched in China were mobile games. In terms of gaming revenue, mobile games ranked first, controlling almost 70 percent market share in 2019. Client games took up the second place with a market share of about 27 percent. Browser-based, home console, and other games accounted for only five percent altogether. In terms of product types, role-playing games remained as the lead, while card games were on the rise.
Due to challenging regulations and cultural gaming preferences, it is relatively hard for international gaming giants to gain success behind the Great Firewall. In this context, Tencent remained the leading game publisher in the Chinese arena, holding more than half of the market share in 2018. Its imminent domestic rival NetEase occupied a market share of about 18 percent.
In 2019, the number of gamers in China reached 640 million, showing a slowdown in growth after the peak in 2011. According to iiMedia Research, about 34 percent of Chinese mobile gamers stated that they spent one to two hours each day playing mobile games. In comparison, the number of browser based game users has been declining since 2013, dropping from 329 million users to 190 million as of 2019. Alongside with the technology advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) games, industry experts projected that the Chinese gaming population would continue to expand in the coming few years.