The Chinese games industry generated 28.610 billion yuan ($3.923) in July 2023, with mobile gaming accounting for 22.110 billion yuan ($3.032 billion), highlighting once again the remarkable strength of the platform in the country.
In total, actual sales revenue for the mobile sector increased 3.40% compared to June 2023, and 51.09% compared to July 2022.
Gamma Data attributes this growth to several factors. For one, July is the summer holiday period in China, with some games running in-game activations promoting playtime and spending to capitalise. Additionally, June saw a fresh influx of game licensing which saw strong growth in July, such as Nike Shui Han. Finally, several games saw significant month-on-month growth, with revenue approaching 100 million yuan ($13.708 million.)
Nike Shui Han had the strongest growth, rising 80 places in terms of turnover between its release at the end of June and the end of July, remaining in the top five best selling iOS titles for the period. This strong performance is attributed, in part, to its origins as a PC title, giving it an established player base. An update to the game was released at the end of July, introducing new features such as pets and casual competitive gameplay to the title.
Crystal Core also entered the charts at number nine. This performance is attributed to a combination of different elements in-game and a marketing campaign combining many different aspects of the media, including live broadcasts and videos of varying lengths.
The RPG genre had the largest increase in sales share among the top 50 mobile games, followed by fishing and leisure games. The strong performance of RPG games is attributed to the year-on-year growth of legacy products such as Dragon Games, as well as the entry of strong performers such as Nike Shui Han into the market.
Although RPG games performed well, the strategy genre saw declines year-on-year, with declines in legacy products such as Three Kingdoms Strategic Edition and Land of the Land.
Additionally, the sales volume of games such as Fantasy Westward Journey and QQ Speed, which are adapted from existing IPs, fell significantly, while the number of such titles decreased 7%.
This overall strong performance in the Chinese market comes even as the country’s mobile gaming segment faces significant turbulence. While things have calmed down somewhat following the hiatus in game licensing - with licensing continuing, albeit at a significantly slower pace - the Chinese government has attempted to tighten its control on the market through new restrictions - something the market is continuing to adapt to.
Last week, the Chinese government imposed a new ban on foreign-branded mobile phones for government officials.