Official figures underestimate Chinese mobile games market in 2013 by up to $300 million

Just growing too fast?

Official figures underestimate Chinese mobile games market in 2013 by up to $300 million

Another day. Another organisation attempts to estimate the size of the Chinese mobile games market.

This time the outfit is an official Chinese committee, the GPC, working with game publisher Changyou-owned website.

Together they reckons the total value of the Chinese games market in 2013 was $13.7 billion (RMB 83 billion), up 38 percent on 2012's figure.

Breaking this down into sectors, client-based PC games are listed at $8.7 billion or 65 percent of the total.

Browser-based games are listed as just over $2 billion and mobile games as $1.9 billion (RMB 11.2 billion), or around 14 percent of the total.

Alternative view

These figure compare with a recent - and likely more accurate - estimate from the iResearch market intelligence company.

It reckons that in the first nine months of 2013, the Chinese mobile game market was worth RMB 9.1 billion (about $1.5 billion).

Indeed, if the current rate of quarter-on-quarter growth (21 percent) continues, iResearch's total for 2013 would be RMB 13.4 billion or $2.2 billion.

It hasn't given its official figures for 2013 yet.

Local games for local folk

Of course, as a government organisation, the GPC's figures aren't just about highlighting growth.

It's also keen to talk up the value of Chinese-developed content in the Chinese games market.

It estimates that in 2013, 30 percent of total revenue was accounted for by local developers, down from a peak of 41 percent in 2011.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.