The number of Chinese gamers surpasses the number of American citizens

Numbers from market research firm EEDAR show that the possible market for games in China is immense.

Credit: Games Marketing Summit
Credit: Games Marketing Summit

Speaking on a panel at the 2014 Games Marketing Summit in San Francisco, market research company EEDAR revealed that, according to their research, the number of gamers in China surpasses the total number of citizens in the United States.

The panel was focused on marketing trends in the gaming industry and featured representatives from Microsoft, Sony, EEDAR, and Ubisoft. The exact numbers according to a slide said, "There are 1.6 Chinese gamers for each American Citizen (517M vs. 317M)."

Of that 517 million person Chinese gaming audience:

  • 147M are core gamers
  • 28% play more than 1 hour/day
  • 9.7% have spent money
  • Core genres = 70% of revenue

Just last year, China lifted a 13-year ban on console gaming systems, however the Chinese gaming censorship rules are more than a little strict.

Of course, this doesn't mean there's going to be any immediate change in the direction game development takes, and gaming piracy still runs rampant through large parts of Asia, which makes it a difficult area to work in. But as China opens up, we'll likely start to see incremental changes both in the types of games we play and what type of audience they're targeted at.

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