A Look Back at 2017 Game Industry [Report]
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
As new year started, let’s look back to some facts and trends of year 2017.
According to Newzoo, the revenue of global game industry reached $109 billion. Compared to around $70 billion in 2012, 2017 annual revenue of the global game industry makes a 56% growth in five years (1).
Global Games Market Revenue Development 2012-2020 (Source: Newzoo 2018)
This rapid growth reflects the fact that game became a more important form of entertainment, and the enlarged game user bases from mobile contributed a lot to that growth. On top of that, the popularity of Esport and game streaming not only expanded the user base but also explored more potential for the game industry. A few months ago, Chinese giant Tencent announced a five-year plan to accelerate its Esports expansion and create a $14.6 billion Esports market in China (2). This reveals the weight of Esports and game streaming to some extent.
Game companies also work very hard to cross over with other traditional media or entertainment industry. Blizzard explored new territory and made movie Warcraft (3); Similarly, some companies such as Seasun Games make the best of their classic IP to develop larger markets. You can find more details about IP development from my previous article (4).
So, Game, with its derivative products, is becoming the world’s favorite entertainment.
By region, Asia-Pacific shares 47% of the global game market, generated 51.2 billion and increased 9.2% compared to last year; China market shares more than 50% of Asia-Pacific and 25% of the global. As I mentioned in my previous article, the leading position of China game market has remained since 2015 (5).
Global Games Market Per Region (Source: Newzoo 2018)
Asia-Pacific Region Game Revenues Distribution (Source: Newzoo 2018)
Top 10 Countries by Game Revenue in 2017 (Source: Newzoo 2018)
In 2017, 565 million gamers in China spent a total of $27.5 billion and secured the worldwide leading position of China market (6).
The USA ranks number 2 worldwide in total game revenue. This reinforces my point of view that western market is strong and worth to explore. As mentioned in my previous article (7), Chinese developers should consider western market along with good strategy. Now, as the games market worldwide is growing and globalized, it is probably the best timing to get into the western market. In the past few years, Chinese companies made some attempts and successfully closed several major M&A deals (8). Let’s wait and see how Chinese companies perform on the world stage this year.
Segment Breakdown of Global Games Revenues Toward 2020 (Source: Newzoo 2018)
Looking back to the previous years and forward to 2020, we see different segments are still standing in their positions. As I shared in my previous articles (9), the mobile market keeps growing. In 2017, mobile segment as the largest segment shares 42% of the total global market, and is estimated to grow towards year 2020 to 40%. Unlike China market where PC game ranks the second largest, the global game market has console game as its second largest segment with $33.5 billion. Browser game segment, on the other hand, is also drifting downstream as I mentioned. It would only take 3% of the global market by 2020.
Obviously, mobile is the way to go. Traditional PC or console game developers have to shift gear to the mobile territory if they didn’t start yet. In fact, turning a successful PC/Console game into mobile is a great strategy for not only revenue generation, but also a great way to bring in more users to the original platform, you can read more about mobile strategies here (10). China game industry is thriving, and it will continuously grow. While the local competition is getting more fierce, getting into the western market especially the US market becomes an inevitable step for China game companies to keep growing. M&A and investment would be one of the most practical ways for penetrating to the new market. I believe there will be more that kind of M&A and investment deals moving forward, so get yourself prepared.
You can download the original report here.
- Newzoo 2017 Global Games Market Report Free Version
- Tencent wants to invest $15 billion into esports over the next five years
- Warcraft (film) - Wikipedia
- Develop the Real Power of IP from the IP Mania
- China Becomes Global Gaming Market Leader and ESports Business Takes Off [Report]
- The Chinese Gamer | 2017
- Why Successful Games in China Rarely Obtain the Equivalent Success in the West
- What to Do before You Say Yes to an Investment or M&A Deal
- Trends of China Game Market and Strategies You May Consider [Report]
- What Should Be the Next Move for Mobile Game Developers and Publishers [Report]
Seasun is a leading Chinese online games publisher focused on creating high quality games/game engines that push the boundaries of player experience in action entertainment. The company is also involved in small-medium sized investments for game studios worldwide. We have recently started up our U.S. studio in Redwood City, CA to create top quality content for the western market.
Seasun has shipped many successful titles, including the popular MMORPG series JX (http://jx3.xoyo.com/), the MMOARPG titles First Myth (http://fs.xoyo.com/index1) and CQ (http://cq.xoyo.com/), along with our FPS MAT (http://xd.xoyo.com/). The “JX” series has grossed more than $250 million and has achieved a daily active user count of 3.3 million. We are currently building a special team of highly talented people to create the technology for our next-generation MMOARPG at this studio.
Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco’s East Bay, Magic Fuel Games is focusing on developing games that capture the imagination of players. With a core team of industry veterans, bringing decades of development and AAA experience from games that have captivated gamers around the world. The company's Series A was funded by Seasun Inc in February 2016 and has been growing its team and developing its 1st product since then.
Kingsoft, Seasun’s parent company, is publicly traded in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 3888) with market value of 3.8 billion USD. Kingsoft has created 3 other subsidiaries alongside Seasun: Cheetah Mobile (NYSE: CMCM), WPS Office, and Kingsoft Cloud Service. Kingsoft has over 4,000 employees worldwide.