China 2013 Video Game Market Grows 38 Percent to $13.7 Billion

2:27 AM PST 01/06/2014 by Clifford Coonan
Electronic Arts
"Battlefield 3"

More than 490 people played video games in China last year, according to figures from an industry group that tracks the gaming industry in the country.

China's video game industry saw a 38 percent rise in revenues last year to hit nearly $14 billion, according to the China Games Party, a group that tracks the gaming industry in the country. PC games accounted for nearly two thirds of revenues, the organization said. 

The China Games Party told the China Game Industry Annual Conference that the country's game market brought in $13.73 billion (83.17 billion yuan) in total revenue in 2013, a rise of 38 percent. The data was also quoted on the Chinese gaming site 17173.

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Client-based PC games earned $8.87 billion (53.66 billion yuan), while browser games earned $2.11 billion (12.77 billion yuan) and mobile games pulled in just $89.39 million (541 million yuan).

Console-based games accounted for a small percentage of the total, just $14.87 million (90 million yuan), which is not so surprising given that game consoles are banned in China, although they are available in small numbers, and there are reportedly plans afoot to allow consoles to be sold from July of this year.

The total number of users was 490 million, which is more than one third of the total population of China and up 20.7 percent from the 2012 figure.

Domestically developed games grew 29.5 percent year-on-year, drawing in $7.88 billion (47.66 billion yuan) for 2013.

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The report made a bold forecast that the Chinese game market will grow to $22.34 billion (135.2 billion yuan) by 2017, with a projected annual growth rate of 12.4 percent.

Meanwhile, China has officially banned Electronic Arts' Battlefield 4: China Rising because of the storyline, which features a Chinese admiral plotting to overthrow the government and starting a war with the U.S., with an all-American hero saving the day by slaughtering Chinese soldiers.

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