Analysts from Niko Partners analyzed the results of the Asian gaming market for 2019. Fritupley projects continue to dominate, bringing the greatest income. This segment accounts for 80% of revenue from all digital sales.Key data from the report

  • despite the success of console hits like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends, mobile games from local developers — Honor of Kings and Free Fire – remain the most profitable;98.5% of revenues from mobile games come from fritupley projects;
  • All 100 of the most profitable mobile projects in the region use the F2P monetization model;
  • Niko Partners expects an increase in the popularity of free-to-play games on the next generation of consoles.
  • This can be facilitated by the release of cross-platform projects with the ability to play between users of different devices;On average, Japanese players spend 10 times more in games than Chinese ones.
  • However, the Chinese market is ahead of other countries due to a larger audience, and the annual revenue from mobile games in China amounted to $18.5 billion;Asia remains the most profitable region, and the growing audience and revenue only increases competition.
  • “Free-to-play games can attract a much wider audience than premium titles or subscription games,” explains analyst Daniel Ahmad.

In his opinion, developers will continue to look for and try new methods of monetization, including a subscription model and hybrid methods.

Despite the dominance of free-play titles, revenue from games for “full-price” also continues to grow. However, the dynamics may differ dramatically in different countries. If in Japan sales of premium titles amounted to $3.85 billion, then in China this distribution model brought “only” $156 million.

At the same time, Chinese developers are beginning to actively take up the development of games for the “full price”. This is evidenced by the huge interest in the recently shown Black Myth: Wu Kong. Ahmad attributes the growing interest in premium games in China to the arrival of digital distribution services like Steam, as well as anti-piracy software and DRM protection in the country.

Fritupley projects will continue to dominate in Asian countries. However, according to Niko Partners, there is no single correct way of monetization in this region.

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