Analytical company Niko Partners in a recent study examined how the Chinese console market is changing. There are still few games made by foreign developers on it, but the number of local titles is growing. But this is not yet enough for the sector to fully compete (financially) with mobile and PC.

The main thing from the study:

  • In 2000, China banned the sale of game consoles. The ban was lifted only after fifteen years;
  • now the revenue of the console market is actively growing. Analysts estimate that by 2025 it will reach $2.46 billion. Although this is a large amount, it is also only 2.9% of the total revenue of the gaming market in the country;
  • according to Niko Partners, the console market could develop more rapidly, but it is hampered by two main factors: the popularity of mobile games in China and strict licensing rules for foreign companies;
  • Despite the fact that Nintendo Switch appeared in China in 2019, only 22 games were legally released for it during this time. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S were released without games approved for China at all. Platformer Sackboy: A Big Adventure managed to get a license a month after the release of the PS5;
  • since there are almost no licensed console games in the country, Chinese gamers are forced to buy pirated versions on the gray market;
  • nevertheless, companies do not want to lose their audience. In 2016, Sony launched the China Hero Project initiative, which is designed to support Chinese developers who are ready to create games for PlayStation consoles. The project is currently developing ten titles for PS5, including Lost Soul Aside from UltiZero Games;
  • Nintendo works closely with Tencent. The Chinese giant has three games for this console: Biped, Iris.Fall and Crown Trick;There are enough developers in China who have worked in major Western studios.
  • They can do their own AA or AAA projects on Unreal Engine and Unity and achieve success not only in China, but also around the world. For example, the yet-to-be-released Black Myth: Wu Kong from the indie Game Science Studio has managed to go viral. Other developers are already trying to copy her style;
  • Chinese companies have started investing in cross-platform. For example, the hit Genshin Impact is popular primarily on mobile devices, but it also extends to PCs with consoles. Also, TiMi Studios, a subsidiary of Tencent, is currently working on Pokémon Unite for mobile and Switch, and then intends to do other multiplatform AAA games;
  • According to Niko Partners, consoles will become more popular in China over time. Largely thanks to the investments of foreign companies and indie games by local developers;
  • however, the console market will remain niche due to the high price of consoles and the availability of mobile titles.