Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese gaming firms hope to bounce back next year

Chinese gaming firms hope to bounce back next year

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Performers impersonate gaming characters at TGC2017, an annual gala for the gaming industry held by Tencent, in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Yuan Kejia/China Daily

Chinese gaming firms hope to bounce back next year

The Chinese government has resumed issuing approvals for gaming titles after a nine-month freeze.

Analysts interpreted the move as a positive for the world’s largest gaming market.

A batch of games has been reviewed and licences will be issued soon, according to Feng Shixin, deputy director at the Publicity Department’s copyright bureau, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

“The first group of games has been reviewed. We will hurry up and keep reviewing and issuing publication numbers. Owing to the large number of games waiting to be reviewed, it will take a while to complete the work,” Feng said on Friday at an annual gaming conference in Haikou, Hainan province.

His remarks caused shares of Chinese mainland online gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd to soar over four per cent on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

The jump was attributed to the expectation that Tencent’s revenues from gaming will gradually pick up in the future.

The company called the measure “a major boon to the Chinese gaming industry”.

In a statement, it said the measure “confirms the authorities’ determination to have active management over the industry”, and sets the direction for the future development of the cultural industry.

Loosening the grip

Sinolink Securities researcher Pei Pei in a recent report said the gaming industry is still under tight regulatory controls. There is a cap on the number of games that can be released in the market and minors are not allowed to spend too much time and money playing games.

Yet, the gaming market may post a moderate recovery, not explosive growth, next year, Pei said.

“The market will become extremely competitive in the following three months as we expect at least 2,000 games will be approved for market release,” Pei said.

The approval freeze followed a market shake-up early this year, after concerns emerged that gaming was causing social problems like addiction, and wasting of time and money among youth. The freeze had dramatically slowed the local gaming market.

China’s gaming industry is suffering its slowest revenue growth in a decade, as local regulators had tightened their grip on a market. Experts think the market is reaching a saturation point.

Buoyed by 626 million Chinese players, the gaming market grew by 5.3 per cent year-on-year to more than 214 billion yuan ($31 billion) this year, compared to the 23 per cent year-on-year increase last year, said a recent industry report.

The report is backed by three key players – the Game Publishers Association Publications Committee, which is part of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association; gaming database Gamma Data Corp; and International Data Corp.

The report noted that mobile gaming accounted for more than 60 per cent of total game sales, playing an important role in the overall gaming market.

Gamma Data Crop founder and chief analyst Wang Xu said as the government tightened its control over video games with strict policies, the gaming industry sought to adapt to the situation.

“As the demographic dividend is fading in China, gaming developers need to seek new ways of expansion. And competition is getting fiercer,” Wang said.

According to the report, overseas markets have become a key source of income for Chinese gaming companies. This year, Chinese developers have earned $9.59 billion in their self-designed online games in the overseas market, up 15.8 per cent year-on-year.

The industry report stated that more and more female gamers in China are spending money to play online. They have become a key consumer group. Female gamers’ passion has created a market worth 49 billion yuan this year, with almost 14 per cent growth year-on-year. China Daily/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM dispels lockdown rumours, gifts masks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 12 denied rumours that he will lock down the country in response to increased Covid-19 fears, referring to them as propaganda aimed at destabilising the country. In a Facebook post, he said some people had spread rumours that the government

  • SilkAir adds flight to Phnom Penh schedule

    Silkair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is increasing its flight frequency between Phnom Penh and Singapore with a third weekly flight on Saturdays, according to Cambodia Airports’ Facebook page. The other flights offered are on Tuesdays and Sundays, with an estimated Phnom Penh arrival time at 5:35pm