Chinese mobile game revenue reached RMB27.5 billion (around US$4.4bn) in 2014, representing 145% growth from last year, according to a report from research firms GPCCNG and IDC. Of the total growth, client games grew by 45% while sales from web and browser games rose 136%..

Source: GPC, CNG, IDC

Source: GPC, CNG, IDC

The number of mobile game players grew by just 15% to reach 358 million. Mobile gaming had experienced a sharp user growth in 2013 when smartphone had become ubiquitous in China and numerous developers shifted focus to smartphone game development.

Source: GPC, CNG, IDC

Source: GPC, CNG, IDC

It is believed the big jump in sales revenue in 2014 was driven by games based on famous characters and other intellectual property (IP), whether old or new. It’s been found the conversion rate for mobile games based on popular IP is twice as high as as the average, though many mobile games developed in the last few years are still based on original IP owned by Chinese developers.

The major Chinese internet companies with large user bases, such as Tencent, prefer to license games or the rights to popular IP so as to attract existing gamers. The big companies are obviously able to pay more for those games or content.

 

Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)