European influence growing in China’s lucrative mobile games market

Atomico report breaks down how the sectors cross over

European influence growing in China’s lucrative mobile games market

Europe’s influence on the Chinese mobile games industry is growing but still only accounts for 4.6% of China's iOS market, according to a report.

Investment firm Atomico has released new research on the Chinese and European mobile games markets and how the two sectors cross over.

It claimed that 36% of all mobile games publishers are based in Europe, more than any other region. 69% of revenue is earned outside of the continent, however.

When it comes to iOS in China, it said the market share of European games firms during 2016 was $253.9 million (4.6%). The Chinese games market is said to have attracted user spend of $24.6 billion in that period.

Despite Europe’s small share, Chinese gamers are said to generate 93% of user spend in China, it has increase by 9x from $27.8 million in 2014 – giving a 2% rise in market share.

“Unprecedented level of consolidation”

Atomico said that for European game studios to make a more significant breakthrough in China there will need to be a “new era of collaboration”.

There have already been movements towards this, Atomico notes that the industry has seen an “unprecedented level of consolidation”, with the top 20 largest M&A transactions of the last five years delivering a combined value of almost $50 billion.

Recent big money deals include Chinese acquisitions of European companies Supercell and Outfi7, and US-based Activision Blizzard’s (which has some ties to Tencent) purchase of King.

The report noted however that looking at the top 20 largest M&A transactions, not a single acquisition was led by a European buyer, while more than 50% of the value was accounted for by Chinese acquirers.

Atomico suggested that through greater collaboration between the two regions, games companies on both sides could increase their chances of success abroad.

You can read the full report on Atomico’s website.

Head of Content

Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.